Why the F*ck are the other Blogs Retrospective?
So here I am, trying to put this blog together…it’s kind of a lot of work. They say that any author should read more than they write, and with all the other FIRE blogs out there, other doctor-y blogs, and the general financial stuff on CNBC and Motley Fool and whatever, reading a lot definitely isn’t a problem. I think I read for about 3 hours today while I waited on them to fix my dog at the emergency vet. Ugh. (I love her and was concerned, but was also concerned about now not being able to max my 2016 IRA contributions because she was costing me $500. Better safe than sorry though. Anywho, my dog is not a luxury (blog post on that will be coming down the pike soon!).
Back to the original point though, a lot of other FIRE blogs are retrospective. Now that I’m trying to do this, I can see why. I guess the first issue there is that if the bloggers/authors/whoever haven’t actually done the FIRE thing successfully themselves, there’s not a lot to separate them from the snake-oil salesmen of olden days, which nowadays I think are more accurately represented by those radio ads you hear for real estate investing seminars, you know the ones. They sound something like this, “LEARN HOW TO BUY REAL ESTATE IN YOUR AREA FOR $0 DOWN!!! JUST COME TO OUR SEMINAR AND MAKE YOUR FIRST MILLION IN ONE YEAR!!! FOR THE LOW COST OF $9,999.99 YOU TOO CAN BE A MILLIONAIRE!!!” Those piss me the fuck off. The difference between that and the FIRE movement is that the math works in our case, whereas theirs is super tenuous and counting on multiple runs of excellent luck, even in a best case scenario.
The other reason though is: When do you have time to blog? When you’re not working! That’s cool, I understand that. This isn’t a criticism, it’s more like an “Oh, yeah, that!” moment. So now I’ve identified that. This blog, however, (obviously) is different. I’m not done yet. I’m just starting as I write this. I mean, yeah, I was financially literate and interested before, but I was only applying a percentage of my knowledge base. In other words, I was doing the traditional financial stuff, but wasn’t really thinking outside of the box or figuring out how to work the system; I didn’t even know I wanted to do that a year or two ago. Hell, a year ago, I was a homeowner. Things were different.
Because this blog is an in-process blog, I think it has incremental value from the others in terms of being a different perspective. The other bloggers can look back and talk about the market crash of 2008; if that shit happens again, I’ll be blogging about it as I’m riding the bomb Dr. Strangelove style! That’s a very different perspective than hindsight. I also hope it can be helpful to both myself and others in terms of having real-time feedback on things. Financial stuff CONSTANTLY changes. Especially now that we have a new administration in office, they’re trying to radically change healthcare for example, and dick around with HSAs, and so that may actually change how I buy my insurance and how good of a deal a plan where I can get an HSA instead of a FSA may be for me. Also, as much as I love Suze Orman, when I read her books, most of her info on student loans was way-the-fuck old. It’s not her fault, I know that between writing a book and getting that final copy on a shelf it can take years in some cases. Whatever I publish will be pretty up-to-the moment, and hopefully if it’s relevant for me, it’s relevant for a few other folks out there too.
Curious here – what do you find more helpful? The been-there-done-that-have-all-the-answers-already perspective, or the “Oh shit, I just learned about this and should have been doing it for the past 5 years, oops!” perspective? Some mix thereof?