The Five Types of People You’ll Meet on Your Way to FI

FIRECracker
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FIRECracker

FIRECracker is Canada's youngest retiree. She used to live in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, but instead of drowning in debt, she rejected home ownership. What resulted was a 7-figure portfolio, which has allowed her and her husband to retire at 31 and travel the world. Their story has been featured on CBC, the Huffington Post, CNBC, BNN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance. To date, it is the most shared story in CBC history and their viral video on CBC's On the Money has garnered 4.5 Million views.
FIRECracker
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I write a lot about our travels around the world, but the most memorable moment actually happened back in North America, in New York City. That was when I got to sign our children’s novel, thus realizing my lifelong dream of becoming a published author.

If you’ve ever tried to publish a book, you’ll know the gut-wrenching highs and lows of becoming an author. One second you’re invincible, and the next you’re down on your knees, gasping for air.

The highest of the highs, came from that moment. That glorious moment when I could FINALLY scribble my own name on a copy of my own book. Something I will remember as long as I live.

So naturally, I was ecstatic to share that moment with my first writing partner, a friend whom I’ve known since first Year University, a friend who’d been our cheerleader from the beginning.

I imagined after I told her, there would be lots of hugging and crying, followed by buckets and buckets of celebratory booze.

But that didn’t happen. Because as soon as the words “NY book signing” left my mouth, it got so quiet I could hear my heart drop in my chest.

She muttered something about needing to run an errand, while avoiding my eyes, and practically shoved me out the door.

I haven’t seen or spoken to her since. Every time I try to get in touch, she seems to be “busy” or conveniently “unavailable”. So after 2 years, I gave up.

But as unpleasant as that experience was. I did manage to learn one painful fact:

“Most people don’t want you to succeed.”

How do I know this? Because we experienced the exact same thing when we retired early.

And it wasn’t just us. Check out the comments on any news article about a celebrity, a successful entrepreneur, or FIRE person (like MMM, GCC, RoG, and our CBC article), and you’ll see that the amount of vitriol could fill an entire library.

And recently, one of our readers experienced this as well. He had finally come out of the FI-closet and told his friends he was working towards early retirement. The amount of backlash hit him like a ton of bricks.

And that’s why he says he’s so happy to be going to Chautauqua UK this year. He wants to build his village and be surrounded by like-minded people, who will encourage rather than tear him down.

So, to all the Revolutionaries out there, those of you who are working towards FIRE, and having a hard time with jealous haters, let me tell you this:

There are the 5 types of people we met on our way to financial independence:

#1: The Frenemy

The Frenemy pats you on the back with one hand, while secretly gut-punching you with the other. That’s why when you tell them you’re retiring early, in one breath they’ll say “good for you!” and then immediately follow it up “Feel free to ask me for a job reference anytime if you run out of money.” Or “40K/year to travel the world is amazing! I wish I could get used to eating beans and kraft dinners so I could do it too. But I can’t. I have standards.”

A frenemy is an expert at backhanded comments delivered so dripping in sarcasm you have to be careful not to slip on it on your way out the door.

Photo by Acid Pix @ Flickr

#2: The Whiner

The whiner thinks they’re hard working, and certainly will make a big show of working hard (“I worked SOOO much overtime this weekend!”) but yet can’t seem to actually accomplish anything. And in their heads, this is evidence of a cosmic injustice that despite all their hard work they’re held back from greatness, and will spend HOURS presenting evidence of said injustice to you if you let them. Their boss is a tool, the system’s unfair, rich people are keeping them down…somehow. But every time I go over and endure one of their epic bitch-fests, I take a look around their swanky condo that I know they bought in a hormone-soaked bidding war, filled with luxury bags they can’t afford, and all I do is just smile and nod. Uh-huh. Sure, buddy. It’s always someone else’s fault.

Fortunately these people don’t stick around for long. When they realize that you succeeded by working hard and critically, NOT handing your hard earned money over to some bank or idiot retailer, that makes them look bad, and they quickly conclude that you are one of those rich bastards keeping them down.

I mean, what choice do they have? Actually learn new ideas and do stuff differently? Nah, they’d rather just stay stuck in their familiar rut while making up excuses about why life is unfair.

Would you like some cheese with that whine? Photo By Jon Sullivan

#3: The Hypocrite (“But there are starving people in Africa, so how dare you succeed!”)

The Hypocrite thinks you got lucky and don’t truly deserve your success. Don’t take it personally, though. They think EVERYONE who succeeds is somehow lucky and doesn’t truly deserve their success.

“Yeah, but you were born into privilege!”

“Excuse me? I grew up in poverty and crapped in a hole.”

“Yeah, but you had great parents!”

“My Mom beat the Hell out of me every day for no reason.”

“Yeah, but your brains is wired to…like…work hard and stuff.”

*chokes on coffee* “What?!?”

The Hypocrite fundamentally believes that being wealthy is inherently evil. After all, how can someone be rich knowing there are so many poor people in the world? However, when asked whether they are doing anything to help those people themselves, they will reply “No. I don’t have any money.” Followed by immediately going to their parents for a handout.

So The Hypocrite gets to simultaneously demonize the rich, while offloading responsibility for solving the world’s problems onto the rich, while excusing themselves from having to do a damned thing themselves.

#4: The Closeted FIRER

Photo by Kurt Lowenstein

This type of person I was genuinely surprised to find. The Closeted FIRER has actually read all the same FIRE blogs as you. They know what SWR stands for, they can discuss in detail the subtleties of the 4% rule, they can rattle off their favourite low-cost Index ETFs. But they don’t. Because they don’t want to admit that they’re also trying to jump ship from their job too.

It’s a feeling I know well. When you’re just starting out on your FIRE journey it seems like such a pipe-dream, way off in the future. But as you actually execute on your FIRE plan and get closer and closer to your actual early retirement date, you start going “Holy crap this actually might work!”

And as you’re getting within a few years of pulling the trigger, you start getting a little paranoid. Mentally, you start packing your bags and start picking out all the countries you want to go visit, but physically you have to keep working for just a little while longer. And then the challenge becomes not letting it slip that you’re planning on quitting. After all, if your employer found out you had one foot out the door, you can kiss goodbye to any bonuses or raises you would have gotten. Hell, you might even get fired which would REALLY throw a monkey wrench into your spreadsheets.

So it sometimes happens that you discover another person at your workplace ALSO following the path to FIRE. And they too, are desperately trying not to get found out.

It can come out in subtle ways. Like in lunchroom conversations when people are discussing how to invest their retirement funds, and the Closeted FIRER will reveal they prefer low-cost Index ETFs rather than mutual funds. And then you will jump in and go “Oh, you know about Index Investing? Do you use Vanguard?” At which point the Closeted FIRER will freeze up and say “Uh, Vanguard? Nope, never heard of ’em. Don’t know what you’re talking about. I think I hear someone calling me. BYE!”

Or you might walk by their cube and see Mr. Money Mustache’s blog on their screen. “Oh, you know MMM?” You might ask innocently, at which point they will turn beet-red, stammering “MMM? Uh…this was just some spam someone sent me. Never heard of it. Doesn’t look interesting anyway. I think I hear someone calling me. BYE!”

And at this point, every interaction turns into a shifty-eyed suspicious glaring contest. “Does he know about FI? Does he know I know about FI? Does he know that I know that he knows about FI?

But as awkward as this phase is, once you pull the trigger and quit, the Closeted FIRER becomes quite relieved that they can finally drop the pretense, and can often become…

#5: The Genuine Friend

A friend who is actually (gasp!) happy for you! Once they found out you’re retiring, they became genuinely interested in how you got here, and wants to learn about how this whole investing thing works. If they were Closeted FIRERs before, they will finally have someone to talk to about their own journey, and will be grateful for your friendship as well. If they’re anything like you, their family and friends also thought they were crazy, their co-workers were also head-bashingly obsessed with houses, and they probably felt alone in their journey as well.

These are exceptional friends that you’ll want to keep for life, because these people, whether naturally a #5 or a #4 that graduated to a #5, are rarer than purple unicorns. These are your village, and you will need them as you embark on the next part of your journey.

 

Obviously, #5 The Genuine Friend is the best but RAREST type of all. We’ve met each of these 5 types of people on our path to FI, and whenever we actually meet a Genuine Friend, we’re pretty shocked. Genuine Friends are the best type of friends because they are the people who are happy with their lives, and aren’t trying to compete with you. Your happiness and success do not take away from theirs. Also, it’s much easier to be a Genuine Friend yourself, once you are happy and living a fulfilling life.

That being said, I get that, to some extent, as human beings, it’s hard for us not to be scared of something new. It’s been around ever since our first caveman ancestors emerged from the woods with a flaming torch, having mastered FIRE!

“Yeah, that fire seems OK,” his fellow caveman would say. “But I like being cold. Is he too good to be cold like me?”

“He thinks he’s so great, with that FIRE,” another caveman would chime in. “But he not know that the greatest joy in life is PILES OF ROCKS. I have more PILES OF ROCKS than him, and that makes me a better caveman! His FIRE is stupid and pointless.”

“You have PILES OF ROCKS? I want PILES OF ROCKS! Can I buy your PILES OF ROCKS?”

Caveman Real Estate Agent: “I’m sorry, we will not be accepting offers for this PILE OF ROCKS until Wednesday. Please come prepared with your best offer and a certified check from Caveman Imperial Bank of Caveman.

Hordes of Cavemen with Certified Checks: “DAMMIT!”

So yes, on your way to FI, you will get haters. Lots and lots of haters.

Whether they are Frenemies, Whiners, or Hypocrites, they all secretly want you to fail and stay mediocre, in order to justify their own mediocrity.

Don’t let that happen.

Stick with Closeted FIRERs and Genuine Friends. They are the ones who will lift you up, help you grow, and applaud when you become unstoppable.

And the haters? Well, I have a VERY nice pile of rocks with their names on it….

So tell me, what type of people have you’ve met on your way to Financial Independence?

52 thoughts on “The Five Types of People You’ll Meet on Your Way to FI”

  1. Great post.

    I got hit with a deluge of whiners and hypocrites – the more I tried to provide facts and reason the more agitated they became.

    When they raised questions I provided answers backed up with links to articles.

    They then accused these links of being snake oil salesmen… except all the links were to free resources on blogs and YouTube.

    Pointing this out didn’t go down well.

    Love the pile of rocks quotes.

    1. “the more I tried to provide facts and reason the more agitated they became.”

      *headdesk* Maybe what they need are “alt-facts”. Talking to people who argue with facts makes my brain hurt. I usually just make fun of them and move on.

      As for the people who think free FIRE blogs and videos are from “snake oil salesmen”, I think it’s time they put away their tinfoil hats.

  2. haha these are great categories! Personally I’m a closeted FIRER. We’ve just started our FI journey and are far from reaching FIRER, but we don’t talk to our friends or parents about it. There will come a tough time when my parents start asking why we haven’t bought a house yet now that we’re married… You know, marriage => house => kids in that order…sigh

    1. “Why aren’t you buying a house?”
      “Because I’m FI and am travelling around the world?”
      “That doesn’t explain why you’re not buying a house. Go buy a house”

      *sigh*

      Stay strong! Don’t give into the madness!

  3. I think I encounter the hypocrites or the whiners the most. The worst is when people say you only get to be young once. I suppose that’s true, but I guess you only get to live once too, which seems to me like it would put even more emphasis on reaching FI fast.

    It’s hard to respond to that YOLO argument. People in that YOLO mindset seem to think that if you’re not doing something YOLO, then you must be miserable. So if you decide not to do something because you’re trying to save money, people assume you must be living a life of misery and squalor. I’m like, you don’t have to spend every dollar you make in order to be happy!

    1. Yeah, idiots who buy into YOLO, don’t understand that FI extends your life, allowing you to live multiple lives, doing whatever you want. Since you have a golden parachute, you can try and fail, over and over again, building different passions. Oh well. Too bad they’re too ignorant to know you can live more than ONE life.

      They need to check this out: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2722

  4. Ok, those #1-3 people can eat a big pile of #2 as far as I’m concerned. Ain’t nobody got time for that junk in life.

    #4 and #5 are worth devoting your social time to. That’s where the magic happens. I didn’t really encounter any #4 closet FIRErs while working, but there were several people who saved money, invested in low cost products, and generally did a good job managing their finances. I can’t say any ever named early retirement as a goal, but it was good to know I wasn’t the only one spending less than 110% of my income.

    As for #5, I’m glad you and I and GCC have that ongoing facebook chat session going 🙂 Always nice to bounce those travel/FI blogger/finance/current event things off of like minded, similarly situated people. 🙂

    1. Yes, our facebook chat sessions do rock. Especially when we compete to see who can traumatize the other people the most. I still can’t get the image of “huge cocks during Chinese New Year” out of my head. Well played, sir. Well played.

      1. I was at a restaurant with friends after Christmas when the topic of the Chinese zodiac sign for 2017 came up. One friend said that she didn’t think Rooster was a very impressive animal compared to Tiger, Dragon, etc. My admonishment to “respect the cock” unfortunately coincided with a sudden lull in the restaurant background noise.

  5. I think I have a bad case of Schadenfreude (/ˈʃɑːdənfrɔɪdᵊ/; German: [ˈʃaːdn̩ˌfʁɔʏ̯də] ( listen); lit. ‘harm-joy’) is pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. It is a feeling of joy that comes from seeing or hearing about another person’s troubles or failures. It is an expression of pleasure or self-satisfaction at another’s failure.

    I talked half of my coworkers into investing and they started making money. But jeez I share the knowledge cause I want to show how smart I am not for them to actually use it!
    :))) I guess I’m ok with helping out as long as I’m still way ahead.

  6. I’m definitely a closet FIRER. However, the past couple of months I’ve been very slowly unraveling the layers of my onion, as I slowly start to give less of a shit 🙂

    I have been talking with very select family and friends about it, maybe even seeing if they skeptically embrace the idea at first. Not looking for personal validation, per se, but just a genuine conversation about FI with someone IRL. I have received positive responses from it. I don’t think they’re frenemies, hyprocrites, or whiners…they hear the idea, like the idea, and then choose to forget about it…Haha! Maybe I have not been open about FIRE enough yet to attract any of these types of people. I’m sure as I get closer to FIRE I’ll start running into more of these types of people, both negative and positive.

    1. That seems more like a dismissive “yeah yeah sure, you’re going to retire early. That’s adowable.” Wait until you actually accomplish it, then the REAL claws come out 😉

  7. This is a funny one FireCracker! Enjoyed the read!

    I’m more of a stealth wealth person myself. I don’t advertise that I’m FIREd in person, but anyone who reads my blog knows I have loads of assets.

    My friends simply know I’m not working, but I’ve never actually told them why…so I get a whole host of *other* reactions.

    Most people simply think I’m doing the stay at home dad thing…which is partially true. Some think I’m a hopelessly unemployable bum who can’t earn a dime (not true).

    I don’t really try to dissuade them of these notions either. Good people who truly care will ask questions about your welfare, and attempt to learn when they realize we live off our investments.

    You know what though? Nobody does.

    1. It’s cause everyone’s too busy thinking of themselves. When they’ve have a million deadlines, bills, and household errands, there’s ZERO time to figure out why you’re so happy and aren’t stressed like them. Oh well. When they haven’t figured out working smart is better than working hard, it’s their loss.

  8. While it’s not something I like to do in real life, one of my favorite pastimes as The Vigilante is actually to go around and gently harass the frenemies, whiners, and hypocrites to prod them into feeling really silly for being those categories.

    It doesn’t work on most people, for obvious reasons. But there’s a small sub-section of people who, if you make them feel a little foolish for believing something, actually change their minds. I think of it as George Carlin-esque persuasion – a comparison which Mr. Carlin himself once heard and aptly labeled “wrong.”

  9. I have definitely encountered the first 3. Never met a #4 and have a few #5’s, but they aren’t folks who are doing the FI thing. I would like to find some of those folks, even if my timeline is different. It always amazes me the vitriol by people who make comments against those who reach FIRE. Why we can’t be happy, ask how they did it, and try to duplicate best practices is beyond me.

    1. Feel free to come to Chautauqua UK! You’ll be surrounded by your FIRE tribe and no haters 🙂

      Yeah, I think the vitriol comes from people who aren’t happy with their lives. Happy people don’t need to tear other people down.

  10. Really enjoyed this read. Thank you FIREcracker! I’m for sure a closet FIRER too.

    Hard to share with people on what to read or do to educated themselves just to allocate their funds at work. Our company givens us $$ to invest as we see. Although many just leave it sit there. Luckily our company automatically puts it into a money market account.

    I’m on my way to FI, pretty much do have my FU money but to hear “a friend’s husband” make sly comments regarding don’t you already have “enough $”? especially when i had never had any discussion with them at all.. but did with my friend.

    Are there any other financial/investment books you suggest to read? always eager to read and learn more.
    thanks again so much for your amazing website!!

    1. Aww, thanks for the kind words, Melissa! Congrats on having FU money and I gotta say this officially gives you the right to mentally tell your “friend’s hubby” to F-off. That’s the wonderful thing about FU money. You don’t have to give a shit what haters think because you don’t need them for anything.

      As for the book recommendations, here is a list of investment and FI books: http://www.millennial-revolution.com/invest/finance-books-that-will-teach-you-to-be-rich/

      My two favourites are JLCollins’ “The Simple Path to Wealth” (must read! I even took it around the world with me) and “Your Money or Your Life”by Vicki Robin (life changing!)

  11. I like the term “stealth wealth”,you play poor and down on your luck and everyone is your friend(they always want someone worse off than them to make themselves feel better about their state/position in the world).
    Remember it is the Canadian way to tear down anyone showing success/ambition.

  12. I definitely had the deer in the headlights look on my face when a coworker figured out I was the voice behind Fiery Millennials…. he came over to my cube the Monday after FinCon and asked me. I was like um um um what do I say!?! But it all ended well since he’s on the path to FI too and helped guide me through my career change with an eye to FI.

    I can definitely second the finding your tribe idea. The number of amazing people I’ve met from FI gatherings and meetups are far too many to count. Each person I’ve met has helped me grow and learn! Plus, they’re there to offer kind words and support when I doubt my path.

    1. Yikes! Yeah, I can imagine how you felt when you coworker asked you that. I’m glad it turned out that he’s a closeted FIRER too. *phew* Now you can have all sort of fun clandestine conversations in private meeting rooms. It’s actually pretty nice to have someone to talk about it.

      Every time I meet a fellow FI person, we end up talking for at least 3 hours straight. I’ve never had this type of EPIC conversation with strangers before. EVER. I guess that’s how you know they’re part of your tribe 🙂

  13. Great analysis FC! Yup – they are all out there (1’s, 2’s, 3’s) wallowing in self-pity & envy

    In a bold move to try and fatten my war chest, I let my boss know in December that Q3 2017 was it for me. Objective – get targeted for lay-off (and 25 weeks severance) if a bad year end or bad Q1. Alas, no such luck. So, got sent to Singapore to close out a project instead. Great weather, even greater food, and a nice deposit of frequent flyer miles before my 6-30-17 exit.

    I have a few closet FIRE colleagues whom I am mentoring to make the leap into the abyss. They mostly seem to be afflicted with OMY (One More Year) syndrome. I AM the antidote.

    1. Ha ha, I guess that’s what happens when you’re WAY too good at your job. Can’t get layed-off no matter how hard you try. I’ve seen this happen with quite a few people. You need to be more incompetent! Or better yet, read Financial Samurai’s book on “how to engineer your lay off”: http://www.financialsamurai.com/how-to-engineer-your-layoff-make-a-small-fortune-by-saying-goodbye/

      There are a lot of FI people afflicted with OMY. Yes, be the antidote! They need it!

  14. This is great! I have to admit I’m a closet FIRER right now. We’re 11 months into our FIRE journey and the very few select people we’ve vaguely told about our plans have simply looked at us as though we’ve had a mental episode and aren’t functioning properly. For my own sanity, I’m not sure I can begin to explain it in any more depth to them. Perhaps I’ll just let them think we’re bums with no motivation or self worth when we do actually retire.

  15. Very well done…and oh so very true on every level. Keep up the great work. Folks don’t get what they don’t get, and sadly, they never will. I heard once that “poor is a state of mind, and broke is a state of wallet.” I will never be poor, but sometimes am broke as I save and invest for FIRE. The poor minded folks are not able to change their mindset and habits which keeps them down. Thanks for all your encouraging and direct posts. TR

    1. Mindset actually counts for a lot. Growing up, my parents never allowed me to feel sorry for myself for being poor. They wanted me to have the perspective that even though I was poor by Canadian standards, I had a lot more than my cousins in China, who were suffering more than me. Perspective is everything.

      Keep up the good work saving and investing for FIRE!

  16. How about Chautauqua Toronto? Scarborough? MMM could also come and visit family very easily? Need to stay close to miracle baby, and nice weather is coming 🌸

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I generally tend to want to get away from Toronto, since I’ve lived spent so much of my life there already, and I want to explore places outside my comfort zone, but that would be something to think about for our Canadian readers.

      I also love how you call your kid ‘miracle baby’. That’s so cute and gives me the warm and fuzzies. Your baby is lucky to have such a nice mom 🙂

  17. I think everyone suffers from financial insecurity,back in the day you had a job for life.Now multiple careers never knowing if your going to be outsourced it’s stressful and people react they way they do out of fear/stress.

    1. I’m not sure about that. I’ve known people from cushy, secure, government jobs reaction the same way. Also, if they’re stressed about money, shouldn’t they want to learn more about their finances, rather than run away from it? Ignorance is not bliss 😛

  18. A lot of good points in this article. My spouse and I are a few months away from FI. I recently had to come out of the FI closet to my boss as we have lost a few other people in the office and he wasn’t going to replace them, I decided to tell him because if he knew he was going to lose me too it might be a good idea to find a replacement or two. Because of the structure of the office, if one person leaves then the work gets shifted in a way that it affects everyone and I’m having to train people on the tasks I would normally do so I’m sure they are all trash talking me behind my back and hoping that I fail. It doesn’t bother me though because I know they are all really jealous. In addition to that, I’ve also had to deal with some jealous nay sayers and “friends” who won’t even talk to me now that I’ve told them about our plans. For anyone who is currently going through this I recommend checking out this video, “How to Shut Down Haters” by Charisma on Command on youtube because there is some very good advice on how to deal with people who don’t want you to succeed or better yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhRlABcFxvc I’d also like to say thank you to FIREcracker and Wanderer for doing this blog as it is what inspired me on this journey and made me realize how close I was to FIRE.

    1. Wow, congrats on being on a few months away from FI! That’s awesome!

      I’m glad you’re not bothered by the haters and frenemies, because in the end, it really doesn’t matter what they think. You’ve made it and nothing they say or do can change that.

      Love the video and thanks for sharing it! I definitely think ignoring haters is the way to go. Sometimes I end up having a little too much fun tweaking them…especially if what they say is ridiculous enough. But yeah, if they end up getting belligerent, better to save our energy and ignore.

  19. Most people around me like the idea and my passion around it, but don’t take the steps they need to do the very simple investing. I want it for them more than they want it for themselves!

    1. I get it. Investing is intimidating for most people. Would’ve been better if they had taught this in school rather than “latin” or “soil erosion” *eye roll*. That’s okay, when people see you succeeding and the rewards you reap from becoming FI, they’ll want to do it too.

  20. Although we have achieved FIRE 10 years ago, we still are a type of closet retirees. When people ask what do you do for work…….still awkward. And the most common people we run into are those who immediately come up with reasons why they could never do it, why it was easy for us then they continue to complain about work, bills, while eating out and shopping for more home decor items for their oversized over mortgaged house.

  21. So, I’ll be honest. I totally thought this post was off base. I just imagined that everyone would do this if only they knew about it OR understood how to do it. I also just imagined that everyone would be supportive of me when I told them about my goal. I WAS SO WRONG!

    This week alone, I had one really good friend and mentor tell me that I was crazy, should not save so much for retirement, and ridiculous for wanting to retire in my forties. Her suggestion was for me to use my increased salary to live a better life. I kind of feel her on that though. I just prefer not having to work at the mercy of institutions that do not care about me until I’m 65.

    Another friend was just not interested at all. I told her about this website and to think about saving more.

    Third friend was just completely negative about the whole thing all together. We agreed to avoid discussing it with each other in the future. 🙁

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, MAS. That’s hard when the herd doesn’t get it and turns on you when you try to break free. That’s why the FIRE community is so important. Meeting like minded people who just GET it and are there to support and encourage rather than crap on your dreams makes all the difference.

      Stay strong! We are cheering you on!

  22. I’ve been on the path of FIRE for about 2 years. This post is on point and I haven’t realized the types of people (more 1,2,3 than 4,5) till now as I think about it. I think that the 1,2,3’s have been more subtle in my experience. It is human nature, I suppose, to be envious. Thanks for the article. I used to sort of jokingly talk about retiring in 5 years at work (not really a joke). I might stop doing that and keeping it to #4 now. It is good that I have a #5 coworker, though. It’s fun to whisper to him, “Eff, these mofos. I’m rich, bitch!” (jokingly–not really).

    1. Yeah, you become pretty good at predicting which type you’re going to encounter after awhile. Kudos for being only 5 years from FIRE!

  23. Great article. Your tone is always spot on. Haven’t you noticed that some FI bloggers fit into #3? They’ve figured out how they can never pay taxes again yet criticize those still paying a lot of taxes for taking their deductions and not doing enough to help those in need. They should enjoy the fact that they’re leading the life they want but if they’re not paying taxes, they may hold back on criticizing those who do.

    1. Sorry to hear about the criticism. My way to deal with that is this: “we can’t control how other people think, we can only control how we react.” FI bloggers aren’t perfect, just like the friends who criticize our life choices. That’s okay. Criticism only hurts if you believe it to be true. Otherwise, you find it amusing and just move on.

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