Hello there and welcome to my blog!
I am The Frugal Humanist and I am sharing my personal experiences on the road through this blog. In my posts I am constantly referring to certain basic topics around humanism, financial independence, early retirement, RV living and other things that are on my mind.
To make these topics easier to understand, I thought I’ll explain some of the basics here on this page, as sort of a starting point for folks who have just discovered this blog. I also use this nifty little plugin that let’s me add mouse-over explanations for acronyms on my blog, so people don’t have to go digging for a glossary. Just like this: OMC!
I don’t want to publish a bunch of separate posts to rehash some basic concepts that tons of people have written about already and much more eloquently at that, than I ever could. But I understand that I need to reference some background and provide a bit of context for some of the topics I touch on, so here it is:
What is Humanism? Check out my elevator pitch!
Humanism is an ethical philosophy, shared by a very diverse group of people, who are not looking for validation from a higher power to be a good person and live a good, meaningful life. As I humanist, I accept responsibility for my own life. I commit to being fair, honest, helping other humans and animals and doing my part, because it is the right thing to do, not because I expect a reward in afterlife. I strive to form my opinions based on reason and facts, supported by scientific evidence. I believe in equal rights for all human beings in all aspects of society independent of gender, race or sexual orientation .
What is FIRE? FIRE is short for Financially Independent / Retired Early
It pretty much means you have enough income from passive income streams from investments such as real estate, stocks, bonds etc that working for money just to cover your living expenses becomes optional = financially Independent. Many people at that point decide to retire early.
There are different opinions out there on when that is the case, the most famous one being the Bengen or 4% rule. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bengen backed by research done in the Trinity Study https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_study
What is the 4% rule?
The consensus in the FIRE community is that according the the above mentioned “Bengen Rule” once you are at that famous 25x expenses point you can draw 4% from your investments for 30 years without depleting your pricincipal. This is of course oversimplified and there are some caveats to that, so feel free to read up on more details (asset allocation, inflation yada yada). But pretty much once your projected expenses equal 4% of your invested assets you should be good to go, if you chose to.It is certainly not wise to lean back and just go on autopilot, drop everything and blindly apply the 4% rule. As long as you are willing to keep some flexibility in terms of cutting back as far as expenses are concerned or if you are willing to earn a little extra if needed, one should be ok, as long as no major disasters happen.
If you are interested in more details (adjusting for inflation, what about taxes, probabilities of success or failure, how data was evaluated etc.), I highly recommend some further reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_study and here http://www.simonemariotti.com/downloads/Papers%20finanziari/Bengen%2096.pdf and here https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Trinity_study_update and more recent research done by Wade Pfau here https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1488670
What does TDA mean?
TDA is short for The De-Accelerater, aka my dear husband (also referred to as DH). TDA and I met while I was on my final Stretch to achieve FIRE. He had been travelling the world in a custom built RV for seven years at that point and I was still burning the candle at both sides working for a multinational MegaCorp, dreaming of FIRE, so I’d have time to volunteer for humanist causes and pet rescues and travel with my cats in an RV. TDA and I met shortly after I started this blog, which may explain the shameful lack of posts in all of 2015. Although it’s very cliché, he had a “slow down and smell the roses” kinda impact on me, which is why I refer to him as The De-Accelerator, a term coined by one of my very dear friends.
I will add more topics as the need to do so occurs. If you feel I am missing something please give me some feedback! I love feedback!