Last year I started writing a blog post called “How the other half live”. I never finished it for various reasons. In it I started to explore the realities of being super rich, financially independent from birth. What’s it like to have a trust fund(1). COVID-19 has brought this to the fore of my mind. It has indiscriminately affected us all, so how have different people managed?
One of the core tenets of the FIRE movement is minimising lifestyle inflation. Happiness does not need to be bought. The overlap with the stoic philosophy of acceptance. Seeing and appreciating small pleasures.
Plenty of blog posts have been written on this balance. How much do you limit your spending, does deprivation become part of the journey (2). More ascetic than stoic. Stingy or frugal (3). The overlaps with minimalism.
Some university friends had the UK-equivalent of trust funds, or came from families where money was not a problem. We have family friends who are 1%-ers. Not billionaires, but enough for their family to never need to work as long as money was managed diligently. There were able to explore passions and hobbies; pottery, classic cars, travel, sailing. Money was never spent on displays of wealth. Why should it be? The pressure to display wealth, emulate the Kardashians, didn’t effect this brand of old-money (4). Their passions, experiences and opportunities to share them brought them happiness, not flashing cash (5, 6).
We are all humans. Social creatures. Our friends in some way define us, and what we think is important, so we can share things we enjoy. COVID-19 has stopped those social interactions. Zoom/ Skype/ WhatsApp/ Facebook calls are great, but they’re not the shared lived experience.
My wife recounted a conversation with a production line worker at her company discussing how different people on her street were coping, including the line “it must be really difficult for the ones on the game”.
We’re still working full time. We’re eating nice food and doing house renovations. The biggest change to our day-to-day life in lockdown has been a lack of shared experiences with friends. It’s made me realise how important that social interaction is. It’s the thing I really miss, and the absence of it has made life less enjoyable. I don’t think I would enjoy FIRE if I had no-one to enjoy it with.
I hope you’re all coping well.
Have a great week,
- Multinational study shows no benefit in treating COVID with Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine (10)
- While a UK trial starts of the same drugs for prevention (11)
- The two antibody tests developed by Roche and Abbott are both found to be “highly specific” but less sensitive than the companies suggest (12)
- 2.2 million US jobs are currently with heavily-indebted “zombie” companies (13)
- The UK Gov sells negative yield bonds for the first time (14)
- NS&I now offers the best savings rates (15)
- Inflation falls to 0.8% (16)
- Old In pictures: the remote UK off-grid community (17)
- Zoom is now worth more than the top seven airlines (18)
- The deflationary concerns I discussed a couple of weeks back are explored this week in the Telegraph (19)
- Are the UK’s banks strong enough to withstand Coronavirus? (20)
- The Times has an interesting interview with James Dyson on his electric car project (21)
- Business Insider reckons 800,000 new US brokerage accounts is the perfect storm of stupid (22)
- Coronavirus will slow the growth of renewables (23)
- TA explores the downsides of salary sacrifice during times of crisis (24)
- Indeedably on inefficiencies for our internal cognitive sake (25)
- Weenie is switching off (26)
- MedFI applies Johari’s window to mortgage overpayment (27)
- And has also looked at NHS Pension Allowances this week (28)
- The ermine ushers in a new world order (29)
- Mr Way is finding reasons to stay positive (30)
- The eagle is working in the garden (31)
- TEA reminds us of the importance of clearing debt first (32)
- GFF is opting for a mortgage holiday (33)
- FIRE Lifestyle reaches a milestone, with £100k in index funds (34)
- The FI Fox runs numbers to try to optimise returns on their emergency fund, concluding with the LS stock market range (35)
- Dr Fire compares LifeStrategy 100 and the FTSE Global All Cap (36)
- The Banker on Fire considers how even though everything seems bonkers, stock market investing is your best bet (37)
- And deconstructs stock market returns (38)
- Zero to Freedom has a piece on how to invest on minimum wage (39)
- Life after the daily grind looks at the track record of Fiat currencies (40) – Hint: not good.
- The IT Investor reviews Scottish Mortgage (41)
- Playing with Fire has a great post on what to do if you’re made redundant (42)
- Path to life 2 has a fun ‘Which FI dino are you’? (43)
- The DIY Investor UK reviews and adds Troy Trojan Ethical (44)