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Monday, September 16, 2019

Tigers lose 104th game, move closer to first overall pick

DETROIT (AP) — In the big picture, the Detroit Tigers are helping themselves with a bad finish to a terrible season.

Edwin Jackson allowed five runs in five innings, and the Tigers took control of the race for the top pick in next June’s amateur draft with an 8-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire isn’t looking at the grand scheme,

“This is a young, tired baseball team that has played a lot of games without much time off, and we’ve got a few more days before we get a day off,” Gardenhire said. “That’s not an excuse, though. We didn’t play well today. We need to be better tomorrow.”

Mind you, many are the #1 draft picks to have marginal value at best, so it isn’t really something to put your hopes in…...

 

QLE Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:29 AM | 92 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: draft picks, the agony of defeat, tigers

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: September 16, 2019 at 01:10 AM (#5879523)
Position player #1s

Swanson 4 WAR (and counting but not a great start)
Correa 21
Harper 31
T Beckham 5 (flop)
J Upton 34
Bush 3 (flop but that seemed to surprise nobody)
Young 3 (flop)
Mauer 55
AGon 42
Hamilton 28
Burrell 19
Erstad 32
ARod 118
Nevin 16
Chipper 85
Jr 84
J King 17
Surhoff 34

That takes us back to 1985. Position players (and #1 picks generally) were quite hit and miss those first 20 years, generating no superstars (Straw 42, Baines 39, Monday 33; best pitchers are under 30). Pitchers of course are a much bigger gamble with only 5 good ones and one decent one in the 13 recent picks.

I knew Swanson was a first-rounder, it never really sunk in he was #1 overall. What a strange trade that was.
   2. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 16, 2019 at 01:32 AM (#5879524)
I’m more interested in if they can clear the worst run differential over the last 30 seasons. Right now they’re third with -296, behind only the 1996 and 2003 iterations of the Tigers.
   3. QLE Posted: September 16, 2019 at 02:28 AM (#5879525)
#1-

Some issues with that argument:

1) By focusing only on #1 draft picks who have made the big leagues, it misses two recent #1 position player draft picks- Mickey Moniak, who in AA went .252/.303/.439 and doesn't seem to be an obviously dazzling outfielder, and Royce Lewis, who went .231/.291/.358 in AA and .238/.289/.376 in A+- granted, both are still young, but this doesn't feel promising for either of them.

2) There's the issue of what value these players brought to the teams that drafted them- Matt Bush never played a game in the majors as a Padre (and, for that matter, never as a position player), Adrian Gonzalez was traded by the Marlins for a half-season's worth of work from a middle-reliever before he reached the majors, and the Rays had washed their hands clean of Josh Hamilton's personal problems. That the latter two had decent careers ultimately is no help to the teams that drafted them.

3) The differences between WAR and WAA demonstrate limitations with using some of these players as success stories- Burrell had a negative WAA, Nevin one of 1.2, King one of 1.6, and even Surhoff one of 3.4. Average players with longevity are nice things for teams to have, true- but aren't exactly things to get excited about with a #1 pick.

Overall, then, I feel that the basic point still holds- and, if the Tigers draft a pitcher, even moreso, given that, of the last three pitchers to be drafted #1, one has already quit baseball and another has a very slim chance at this point of reaching the majors.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:04 AM (#5879527)
Some issues with the counter-arguments:

1) By focusing only on #1 draft picks who have made the big leagues, it misses two recent #1 position player draft picks- Mickey Moniak, who in AA went .252/.303/.439 and doesn't seem to be an obviously dazzling outfielder, and Royce Lewis, who went .231/.291/.358 in AA and .238/.289/.376 in A+- granted, both are still young, but this doesn't feel promising for either of them.

It didn't omit any. I sensibly understood that we have no good idea yet whether Moniak or Lewis are busts yet because they were drafted so recently. There's also the flipside that we're probably less than 1/3 of the way through (for example) Correa's career.

2) There's the issue of what value these players brought to the teams that drafted them- Matt Bush never played a game in the majors as a Padre (and, for that matter, never as a position player), Adrian Gonzalez was traded by the Marlins for a half-season's worth of work from a middle-reliever before he reached the majors, and the Rays had washed their hands clean of Josh Hamilton's personal problems. That the latter two had decent careers ultimately is no help to the teams that drafted them.

This is nearly a completely meaningless point. Possibly the Padres were stupid to trade AGon but that says nothing about the value of #1 picks or the wisdom in pursuing them. Bush was already listed as a bust but the fact that his meager value didn't come to the Padres is immaterial. You may have a point with Hamilton in that he is an example (along with Bush and Delmon Young and Brien Taylor) that these are often immature young men that run into off-field problems. Still, the Rays owned his rights immediately prior to his debut and let him go in the rule 5 draft (taken by the Cubs and sold to the Reds). And his later performance is strong evidence that Hamilton was an incredibly talented player -- deserving of a #1 pick.

If you want to make a point here, it's that all a team gets with a draft pick (assuming they sign him) is the rights to his first 6+ years in the majors (or the period prior to his minors FA if things really don't work out). There's also the obvious point that, prior to deciding to suck, a team doesn't know for sure that there will be a big position player talent available. **

3) The differences between WAR and WAA demonstrate limitations with using some of these players as success stories- Burrell had a negative WAA, Nevin one of 1.2, King one of 1.6, and even Surhoff one of 3.4. Average players with longevity are nice things for teams to have, true- but aren't exactly things to get excited about with a #1 pick.

Weak point. Sure, you don't always get a star. That the downside is 6+ years of an average MLer is a positive point because it means the expected outcome and the upside are very big. I'm not clear what you think could be misleading here -- to the extent an average player produces value, it's almost always within the early part of their career, meaning the drafting team owned the rights to most of that production. The list is more distorted by the ARods and Chippers because so much of their value came after they passed the 6-year service threshold.

** So, out of curiosity, who were the top position players in years pitchers were taken #1

2014: Aiken -- nobody good. Schwarber was the first one drafted, followed by Nick Gordon and Alex Jackson. Conforto 10, Turner 13 and Chapman 18 are the prizes here so far.

2013: Appel -- Bryant. Thanks Astros.

2011: Cole -- Bubba Starling (oops) at 5 was the first but then Rendon at 6 has put up slightly more WAR than Cole to date. Lindor 8, Baez 9, Spring 11. Still, nothing wrong with Cole.

2009: Strasburg -- Other than a certain future HoFer at #25, Strasburg is easily the best of this class. Ackley at #2 at least made it to the Becker line, Donovan Tate 3 and Tony Sanchez 4 were busts.

2007: Price -- the best of the round followed by MadBum 10. Moose at 2 and Wieters at 5 worked out OK, Heyward at 14 is the best position player unless we really, really don't believe Rfield.

2006: Hochevar -- oops. Longoria first position player at 3 ... but Kershaw 7 and Scherzer 11 are the best of the round.

2002: Bullington -- BJ Upton 2 was OK, Prince 7 was good for a bit but Greinke 6 and Hamels 17 pretty much lap the Moneyball draft.

That takes us through the 2000s. What about the player busts?

2003: Young -- what a terrible draft. Weeks 2 was OK. Position player prize was Markakis 7. Maholm 8 and Danks 9 are the best pitchers near the top.

2004: Bush -- slightly better off if you draft Verlander 2 instead. :-)

2008: Beckham -- very position-player heavy draft. Really nobody except Posey 5. Best pitchers are late picks Cashner and Odorizzi.

2015: Swanson -- Bregman 2 was the prize. Still time but this looks like a terrible year. Buehler 24 and Soroka 28 have already just about wrapped up best pitchers in this round.

FWIW, nobody from 2016 (Moniak) has made any impression yet. Same for 2017. 2018 has blessed the Cubs with at least one good week from Nico Hoerner.

Summing up: 2013 and 2006 were years it was a big mistake to take the pitcher #1; 2002 was a small mistake; if you think Rendon should have been in the mix for #1/#2, then 2011 could be a draw. Taking Moose #1 would have been bad but not disastrous. For the position player years, 2004 was the massive mistake to take a position player first. I don't recall how high everybody was on Verlander but I do recall a lot of criticism for picking Bush.

Note I assume there are years where a pitcher drafted 2/3 kicks the butt of the #1 position player. Somebody can count those up if they want. I'm not trying to argue that a position player should always be first, more that they are generally quite safe picks.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:13 AM (#5879528)
Back to Moniak in 2016: Next pick was Senzel who has made the majors, struggled so far at 24. #3 was pitcher Ian Anderson who has had a nice run in the minors with a terrible 25 innings in AAA. The Braves may have finally re-found their pitching mojo. Pitcher Riley Pint was #4 -- 26 IP over the last 2 years. #5 pick Corey Ray (OF) was in the top 100 pre-2017 but not now -- bad half-season at AAA this year; odd season at AA last year, turning 25.

Anderson looks good, Senzel looked good but is turning 25, the other two guys haven't done any better than Moniak. At least Moniak is only turning 22.
   6. ajnrules Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5879733)
2004: Bush -- slightly better off if you draft Verlander 2 instead. :-)

I kind of like the story behind that draft. The 2004 draft was the final year where the 1.1 pick alternated between the worst team in the AL and in the NL. The Tigers had gone 43-119 in 2003 but ended up with the number two pick in the draft, after the 64-98 San Diego Padres. Of course, the Padres went cheap and drafted and signed Matt Bush. The Tigers went with Verlander instead, who if I recall wasn't an overwhelming pick. Detroit almost couldn't get a deal done but Verlander's father (who has a long history of union negotiations with the Communication Workers of America) stepped in and hammered a deal together. I'm sure the Tigers were pleased with how things turned out.
   7. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:25 PM (#5879743)
Mind you, many are the #1 draft picks to have marginal value at best

Plus this is the Tigers we're talking about here, a franchise whose first-round draft picks have been breathtakingly bad (Derek Hill? Ryan Perry? Chance Ruffin? Matt Anderson...with the top pick in the entire draft?!).

Detroit's first-round picks in the last 30 years can be summed up as, "Verlander, a few OK guys and a bunch of stiffs".
   8. escabeche Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:31 PM (#5879746)
The question isn't really how good it is to have the #1 pick, it'a how much better it is to have the #1 pick than the #2 pick. Maybe... not that much better? I'm an Orioles fan and I have no problem rooting for my team to win these games and not finish with the worst record in the league.

   9. Buck Coats Posted: September 16, 2019 at 05:22 PM (#5879765)
I liked the idea I read here once of a "rotating lottery" to discourage tanking - you put the 5 (or whatever) worst teams in a hat, draw out a name for the first pick - and then put in the 6th worst team and draw out one for the second pick. Then put in the 7th worst team and draw one out for the third pick. Etc etc.
   10. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: September 16, 2019 at 06:35 PM (#5879780)
The question isn't really how good it is to have the #1 pick, it's how much better it is to have the #1 pick than the #2 pick.

Well, BBRef sez the average #1 overall pick (that actually played in the majors; Steve Chilcott, get outa here) has an average career WAR of 23.2 (think Gerrit Cole).

The average #2 pick: 15.2 WAR (think Mark Prior).
Numbers 3, 4 and 5: 13.8, 13.0 and 12.0, respectively (Steve Avery, Gregg Olson, Kent Mercker).

So...yeah, it's good to be #1, and there's not much difference between #2 and #5.

EDIT: Taking a quick look at the other first-round picks, even at #25 and #30, seem to average around 10-12 WAR. So, you're much more likely to get a star if you pick first overall than you would be at almost any other spot at the draft! So, number one pick, Tigers! Woo-hoo! (DON'T pick another reliever, OK? Thanks.)
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: September 16, 2019 at 07:03 PM (#5879784)
I liked the idea I read here once of a "rotating lottery" to discourage tanking - you put the 5 (or whatever) worst teams in a hat, draw out a name for the first pick - and then put in the 6th worst team and draw out one for the second pick. Then put in the 7th worst team and draw one out for the third pick. Etc etc.


I would be fine with that or a host of other ways to discourage tanking (or whatever word works for you to describe teams that go into the season with no real desire or attempt to compete to save money for a year or two.) I mean a lottery system isn't a bad thing, but you need to make sure it doesn't look like the NBA's, which has been accused of corruption from everyone.... and I think that the two wild card teams should have a lottery pick also....so that teams don't say "well it's not worth even trying for the wild card." Give them a pill in the lottery drawing. (of course the system I would design would be overly complicated... the number of pills would be partially based upon your standing this year(worse record gets the most pills), and maybe a three year average--where you get more pills if you are good not crappy, and bonus pills if you have a high salary...and probably other things)
   12. escabeche Posted: September 16, 2019 at 07:46 PM (#5879792)
has an average career WAR of 23.2 (think Gerrit Cole)

That's misleading, because Gerrit Cole's career WAR is going to be a lot higher than 23.2. Maybe try a slightly worse Ervin Santana (career WAR 25.9). Or Scott Kazmir (22.8) or Chris Bosio (24.4).
   13. shoelesjoe Posted: September 17, 2019 at 03:13 AM (#5879873)
One aspect so far unmentioned is that next year's draft is supposed to be one of the deepest drafts in years. The difference between the #1 guy and the #5 guy may be next to nothing.
   14. BrianBrianson Posted: September 17, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5879904)
Other than relegation, there's probably nothing you can do to convince MLB teams it's better to be mediocre with a low ceiling/high floor and high payroll and no real future of non-mediocrity than to be mediocre with a high ceiling/low floor and low payroll and a possibility of non-mediocrity to come.

Well, maybe if you inverted the salary structure so rookies were more expensive than veterans.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2019 at 09:33 AM (#5879907)
It's funny, these are the conversations that dynasty fantasy and simulation leagues have been having for years. When Bill James said that every manager should play a few hundred Stratomatic games, he had no idea how right he was.

Other than relegation, there's probably nothing you can do to convince MLB teams it's better to be mediocre with a low ceiling/high floor and high payroll and no real future of non-mediocrity than to be mediocre with a high ceiling/low floor and low payroll and a possibility of non-mediocrity to come.


MLB is a cartel and each team gets something like > $200M of shared revenue every year. You'd have to change that dramatically in order to incentivize mediocrity vs abject crappiness.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 09:34 AM (#5879908)
Other than relegation, there's probably nothing you can do to convince MLB teams it's better to be mediocre with a low ceiling/high floor and high payroll and no real future of non-mediocrity than to be mediocre with a high ceiling/low floor and low payroll and a possibility of non-mediocrity to come.

Of course these are not the only two actual choices.

If you somewhat de-link draft position from record, and established a meaningful salary floor, there'd be much less incentive to suck.
   17. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 17, 2019 at 09:57 AM (#5879922)
One aspect so far unmentioned is that next year's draft is supposed to be one of the deepest drafts in years. The difference between the #1 guy and the #5 guy may be next to nothing.


Yeah - always hard to predict a year out, though... all these guys have another amateur season ahead of them. The good news for the Tigers is that it looks like an especially collegiate heavy deep draft, which ought to reduce the risk somewhat.

Emerson Hancock tends to be the early favorite for the consensus top pick (lots of analysts think he might have challenged Adley Rutschman for last year's top overall had he been eligible), but pitchers always break your heart....
   18. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:00 AM (#5879926)
Emerson Hancock


What a name. Is he going to play in a powdered wig and wooden shoes?
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:05 AM (#5879929)
What a name. Is he going to play in a powdered wig and wooden shoes?

Wooden shoes?
   20. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5879931)
Are wooden shoes just a Holland thing? I think I was imagining that 18th century Americans also had wooden shoes.
   21. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5879933)
Emerson Christian Hancock... from Georguh, suh.
   22. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:13 AM (#5879934)
Actually, it's a deep draft in terms of both talent and great names...

Another likely top 10 is Spencer Torkelson, a 1B light tower power masher.... Asa Lacy, a crafty lefty who misses bats.... The top prep player at this point is probably Pete Crow-Armstrong.
   23. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5879935)
...and if you like cars, there's a nifty Vandy 3B named Aston Martin (OK, it's technically Austin... but still).
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5879938)
Are wooden shoes just a Holland thing? I think I was imagining that 18th century Americans also had wooden shoes.

Just a Holland thing, AFAIK. I've been to a bunch of colonial history museums and sites, and never heard them mentioned.
   25. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5879939)
Are wooden shoes just a Holland thing? I think I was imagining that 18th century Americans also had wooden shoes.
Clogs were traditionally made entirely of wood, or at least a wood sole with a leather or textile upper. That's the definition of a clog -- footwear with a wood sole. These were pretty much a universal footwear with variants found throughout Eurasia, and thus also among the lower classes in colonial America. Dancing clogs (i.e., clogs made for clogging) should still have wood soles bolted onto a leather upper. Folk cloggers on a wood stage can generate an admirable racket if they're so inclined.

EDIT: A picture of wood-soled shoes made for a slave from North Carolina in 1864, for instance. Not a purely wood shoe. A Gauguin painting of some Breton girls wearing wood shoes, called "sabots". You'll see these in every painting of 19th century Bretons you'll see, and there are a ton of such pictures because for contemporary French artists Brittany was an exotic and primitive country that was extremely close to home.

EDIT EDIT: My godmother was an avid folk clogger from the NC mountains, so I've gotten to hear way more about wood shoes than one would normally expect.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:32 AM (#5879942)
But wooden teeth, at least that was a thing, right?
   27. BrianBrianson Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5879948)
If you somewhat de-link draft position from record, and established a meaningful salary floor, there'd be much less incentive to suck.


Not really. The draft is worth a little, but not much. And the salary doesn't help - it's still going to be better for teams to have a shot at getting good over almost guaranteed mediocrity. The #1 draft pick is worth $25 million over the average first round pick ooh, linky And teams aren't playing young people with potential over proven mediocre veterans just for the cost savings; they've also realised that although it's a riskier strategy, it also comes with higher upside.

Of course, there are other, wacky, impractical options. If every player (majors and minors) was a free agent at the end of every season, there'd be little incentive to prioritise long term success over short term success. I don't think people would like that one, though. Or, of course, a collective bargaining agreement where all players earn the same flat amount. I don't think the players would go for it, somehow.

I think it's pretty much across the board the case. The incentive structure makes it hard to motivate teams to take assured mediocrity without end over taking some risks but possibly eventually getting good. You can up the risks of being bad, but those kind of solutions inevitably mean that teams that become bad will have to stay bad, so that sucks unless you have relegation.
   28. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 17, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5879958)
Meh - it's ironic, but the Tigers are in such a sorry state BECAUSE they spent money.... They still owe Miggy 124m through 2023 (I'm going to assume the 2024 and 2025 vesting options if he finishes in the top 10 in MVP voting in 2023/4 do not come to pass). They should hope he gets to 3000 hits/500 HRs and just calls it a day.... though, at the rate he's going - that may take until 2023.

The other big dollar guy is actually out-WARing Miggy (0.2 to -0.2) - Jordan Zimmerman with his 1-11, 6.42 ERA (but a 4.76 FIP!)
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 11:22 AM (#5879962)
Meh - it's ironic, but the Tigers are in such a sorry state BECAUSE they spent money....

Not really. They're in this state because their farm system hasn't generated enough talent. This is a team that has run a $200M payroll. $50M in dead money to Cabrera and Zimmermann hurts, but the Yankees have spent as much on Stanton/Ellsbury/Betances with no production, and are still very good.

You can succeed with a $150M payroll, but not if your farm system stinks.
   30. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: September 17, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5879973)
Or, of course, a collective bargaining agreement where all players earn the same flat amount.
This is interesting in theory, with the stipulation that it's entirely impossible for a million and one reasons. This site says that the 30 MLB teams combined for an opening day payroll (including injured players) of $3,746,346,825. That works out to about $5 million ($4.995 million) for each roster spot, 25 roster spots for each of the 30 teams. So imagine a league in which every player gets paid a $5 million salary, probably prorated for games on the roster, ~$30,864 per game. Losers would be the stars and some veterans, winners would be almost everyone else. If you spend two full years on a roster and are careful (and willing to fly coach) then you'll never have to work again. OTOH, you have to be Jamie Moyer to get "buy a tropical island" type of money.

One small gain for the players would be that they'd no longer have to pay agents to negotiate contracts, so they get to keep a bit more of their salary.

A comic effect would be that the quality of the local school system would actually become important for free agents, if there's no difference in possible contracts. Local tax rates would be a huge deal; Florida, Texas, Washington, and Washington, DC are the only places without a specific local tax on athletes, so they'd have a huge advantage. Maybe we'd get sick of seeing the Marlins and the Rangers in the World Series.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5879996)
If you spend two full years on a roster and are careful (and willing to fly coach) then you'll never have to work again.

The problem being if you don't have lots of money to spend doing cool stuff, never having to work again just means sitting at home bored to tears like most retirees. Unless you really love golf.
   32. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: September 17, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5880033)
The important part of never having to work again is never having to work again. A 30-something-year-old guaranteed a middle class lifestyle for the rest of eternity should be able to work out something. He can get a job if he wants, but because there's no economic necessity involved he only has to think about personal fulfillment and (hopefully) being of some use to the rest of humanity.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 01:40 PM (#5880038)
The important part of never having to work again is never having to work again.

Not to me. 60 years of retirement would be boring as crap. If you're going to end up working anyway, it's not a huge benefit to not have to.

The percentage of people who can get personal fulfillment out of something beyond career and family is very small, and heavily skewed to intellectuals. That's why ballplayers with $100M in the bank keep trying to play as long as they can, even though they suck.
   34. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 17, 2019 at 01:58 PM (#5880055)
The problem being if you don't have lots of money to spend doing cool stuff, never having to work again just means sitting at home bored to tears like most retirees. Unless you really love golf.


I think that's just silly.

If I won say, 5 million dollars tomorrow - I think I would absolutely retire and there is PLENTY I could and would do to occupy myself. I like my colleagues and employer well enough that I wouldn't just pull a See Ya! - but I'd definitely tell them it's time to plan for me not being a full-time employee.

From just working my way through top 100 film/book/etc lists I've just never had the time for to learning things from another language to buy a cheap pawn shop guitar and learning to play... I'd write. Just go for strolls. There are a myriad of places within an easy 2-3 hour drive I'd love to just spend a few days.

I could easily fill up my work hours with very cheap pursuits - while keeping my current leisure time activities (from dinner or drinks with friends to watching ballgames) as they are... Some more luxurious and exotic travel would be nice, but by no means necessary.
   35. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5880058)
If you don't have to work you still can work. It's just that you'll never have to stress about making the mortgage payment if you don't get enough overtime, and you can always focus on quality of life over salary when considering whether or not to take a job. Many of the things that can make a working life miserable go away. (And then of course the "job" can be some sort of volunteer or charitable work, that's full-time and that's a career in every sense except for the paycheck.)

And anyway, under a flat salary system most ballplayers would still try to hold on as long as possible. It's just that the ones that don't last very long would be in much better position when they wash out.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5880061)
I think that's just silly.

If I won say, 5 million dollars tomorrow - I think I would absolutely retire and there is PLENTY I could and would do to occupy myself. I like my colleagues and employer well enough that I wouldn't just pull a See Ya! - but I'd definitely tell them it's time to plan for me not being a full-time employee.

From just working my way through top 100 film/book/etc lists I've just never had the time for to learning things from another language to buy a cheap pawn shop guitar and learning to play... I'd write. Just go for strolls. There are a myriad of places within an easy 2-3 hour drive I'd love to just spend a few days.

I could easily fill up my work hours with very cheap pursuits - while keeping my current leisure time activities (from dinner or drinks with friends to watching ballgames) as they are... Some more luxurious and exotic travel would be nice, but by no means necessary.


Have you ever been unemployed for a stretch? I had a ~5 month stretch of unemployment once, and then another ~6 months where I was being paid but didn't have to go into work. I was bored to tears.

I have enough savings that I could theoretically retire; I'd have to downsize my lifestyle. I just can't imagine what I'd do every day for 30-50 years.
   37. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5880071)
Have you ever been unemployed for a stretch? I had a ~5 month stretch of unemployment once, and then another ~6 months where I was being paid but didn't have to go into work. I was bored to tears.


Not since I was 14... but if I could feasibly cover my existing lifestyle and drop the job? I am more than ready to say 30 years is enough. MORE than ready. And I don't even hate my job.

It's just not at all where I would spend my energies - or the biggest chunk of them - if I had the choice.

Virtually all of my modest pursuits above are things I could certainly do in my free time now, but the fact is - I'm just mentally worn out so rather than say, googling AFI's top 100 films and investigating my digital options, it's usually just flip channels and sim some OOTP or something.

It would really and truly excite me to wake up every day and think "What do I WANT to do today?" rather than "What do I HAVE TO DO today?" I'm sure there would misfires and endeavors I'd like to pursue and drop because they lacked my perceived value (I'd like to learn Russian... and read Tolstoy in his native tongue.... There is probably a decent chance I wouldn't follow through on that one regardless!)

   38. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: September 17, 2019 at 02:48 PM (#5880081)
Have you ever been unemployed for a stretch? I had a ~5 month stretch of unemployment once, and then another ~6 months where I was being paid but didn't have to go into work. I was bored to tears.

The best part of my job is that it allows me to set my own schedule. I often enjoy working, but not always. It's nice to go to be able to take a week or 6 off whenever I'm feeling burned out.

I don't ever get even the slightest bit bored with the down time, though I don't doubt that lots of people would. I'm certainly happier and more relaxed when I'm working less.
   39. JL72 Posted: September 17, 2019 at 06:15 PM (#5880143)
`Have you ever been unemployed for a stretch? I had a ~5 month stretch of unemployment once, and then another ~6 months where I was being paid but didn't have to go into work. I was bored to tears.

I have enough savings that I could theoretically retire; I'd have to downsize my lifestyle. I just can't imagine what I'd do every day for 30-50 years.'

That sounds like a lack of imagination on your part. Between hobbies, volunteering, spending more time with family, I could easily fill my days. There are a ton of worthy causes that need help.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5880145)
That sounds like a lack of imagination on your part. Between hobbies, volunteering, spending more time with family, I could easily fill my days. There are a ton of worthy causes that need help.

I feel like I've got enough free time for hobbies and family as it is. It's not like they don't have busy lives too. Also none of that engages my mind like actually having to solve real problems at work. If I'm just going to create another job for myself (say at a charity) I might as well just keep working, and donate money to the charity.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2019 at 08:32 PM (#5880177)
Zonk's vision of retirement sounds an awful lot like the Summer of George. A life filled with only aimless goals - watch movies, learn guitar, take Russian lessons - is bound to frustrate and disappoint. You'd be playing 9 hours of OOTP every day before you knew it.

I think that the ideal amount of work for me would be about 18 hours per week. Less than that, and your days would be so empty that you'd start looking for something more serious to engage your time. But more than that, and it impinges on the extraordinary freedom that financial independence offers. If that "work" could be something meaningful and satisfying, all the better.
   42. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2019 at 08:46 PM (#5880182)
Also I'd want unlimited vacation time. Most years I'd probably take ~4 months off.
   43. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 17, 2019 at 09:08 PM (#5880194)
I play 9 hours a day of OOTP now.... maybe I’d prefer 12.

But I wholly disagree that it would frustrate or disappoint.

The “summer of George” problem for George was that he had to go back to work eventually, and thus, wasted his bonus time of having money not to work.

If you don’t have to go back to work, you have no such problem.... because you’re not wasting time as a limited and precious commodity - well, beyond lifespan.... but then, I am quite sure that that at the end of my life - I will almost certainly have “wish I had” regrets... but I am absolutely certain that “gee, I wish I had spent more time at work” will not be one of them.
   44. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:20 PM (#5880253)
George's time was wasted whether or not he ever had to return to work, because he was lazy and did stupid things. Not that I think that writing novels and seeing great movies and learning to play guitar are stupid pursuits, but I have a tough time imagining them as the central organizing ambitions of a fulfilling and happy long retirement. What I'm saying is, your 'to do' list needs some work. Waking up and saying "I can do anything today" is a good way to start a day where you do absolutely nothing worthwhile. Sooner rather than later you'd find yourself wanting to be useful to someone, to participate in some community, to leverage your skills and experience ... rather than just chipping away at a teenager's bucket list.
   45. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:40 PM (#5880272)
All of those things can done without needing to “work”.....

My point wasn’t to create a spur of the moment bucket list.... it was a top of my head, stream of consciousness “if I didn’t have to work”.... because I do have to work... and that’s highly unlikely to change for at least 10 years, probably closer to 15 - indeed, one of my non-work activities is to try to make that number closer to 10.

My point is that if I did not have to work, I would not work.

As I said, I don’t hate my job... I find aspects of it stimulating. I like most of my colleagues.

But if did not NEED to do it to live, or at least, live the lifestyle I desire to live? I have zero desire to keep doing it. I would stop doing it. And it’s not even close or a particularly hard decision.
   46. A triple short of the cycle Posted: September 17, 2019 at 11:38 PM (#5880297)
This is a young, tired baseball team that has played a lot of games without much time off

I guess the other teams that have played the same number of games with older players have better drugs or something.
   47. BrianBrianson Posted: September 18, 2019 at 04:00 AM (#5880314)
Also I'd want unlimited vacation time. Most years I'd probably take ~4 months off.


And yet, having lived in France for six weeks, I already feel like two months off is too much.
   48. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 18, 2019 at 07:55 PM (#5880561)
There's a happy medium, I guess, but whenever I find myself with too much time on my hands there's only so much reading and exercising I can do. Eventually I end up drinking. Which is v. bad.

Honestly, I'm happiest if I can vacillate between basically 0 free time for a few weeks and then absolutely nothing to do for a week and then back. That way I'm able to enjoy the relaxation while also knowing that it will come back again before too long -- and that it won't last forever. And as long as what I'm doing doesn't make me feel like killing myself (which teaching kind of eventually did), I'm very content to basically work myself to sleep six days a week and still do some work on the seventh. That only gets out of whack when my sleep does.
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 09:24 AM (#5880647)
I think that the ideal amount of work for me would be about 18 hours per week. Less than that, and your days would be so empty that you'd start looking for something more serious to engage your time. But more than that, and it impinges on the extraordinary freedom that financial independence offers. If that "work" could be something meaningful and satisfying, all the better.

You're on to something. I'd probably put it a little higher than that. I could do my job in four seven-hour workdays, so 28 hour week. It would be nice not to have to show up the 5th day.
   50. PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2019 at 09:34 AM (#5880654)
And of course by 18 hours of "work," it could mean volunteering or whatever - doesn't need to be a paid job - it just needs to be a sort of a project that engages your faculties and creates some feeling of accomplishment. It could be your attempt at the Great American Novel, or working on the family genealogy. But it's something. I just don't think the "today I'll take a pottery class, tomorrow I'll visit the botanical garden, the next day I'll watch 3 samurai movies" plan is sustainable. At least for most people.

My grandfather retired and soon after embarked on a surprise second career as an oil painter. I think it added a ton to his quality of life in his last 30 years vs the alternative, which I assume would have involved an awful lot of time sitting in front of the television, which is how my father has largely spent his retirement.
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 10:00 AM (#5880667)
And of course by 18 hours of "work," it could mean volunteering or whatever - doesn't need to be a paid job - it just needs to be a sort of a project that engages your faculties and creates some feeling of accomplishment.

Sure, but the money from a real job is certainly nice. It's tough to retire early now that people routinely live into their 90s.

Retiring at 55 was great when you were pretty sure you wouldn't make 75. But the potential of 40+ years of retirement is daunting, both financially, and in terms of keeping busy.
   52. PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2019 at 10:17 AM (#5880674)
Oh sure, I was just still in the "Mike Stanton sized windfall" fantasy.

There's a large internet subculture of very early retirement folks that target a savings of X and then plan to live the next 50+ years of their lives with extreme frugality so as to stretch X out for the rest of their lives. I find it fascinating, so I read about it, but it's not really for me. I don't totally get retiring at age 35 and then being unable to own a car, not eat out at restaurants ever, no travel, and also living in dire fear of recession or expensive health problems. That type of freedom seems like it would be tough to enjoy.
   53. jmurph Posted: September 19, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5880686)
There's a large internet subculture of very early retirement folks that target a savings of X and then plan to live the next 50+ years of their lives with extreme frugality so as to stretch X out for the rest of their lives. I find it fascinating, so I read about it, but it's not really for me. I don't totally get retiring at age 35 and then being unable to own a car, not eat out at restaurants ever, no travel, and also living in dire fear of recession or expensive health problems. That type of freedom seems like it would be tough to enjoy.

I'm also fascinated by these people. The clear dealbreaker for me is the extreme frugality now, in my working years. I mean I'm pro good financial decision-making, but I'm also pro occasional takeout and travel and paying $200 per year for NBA League Pass.
   54. PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5880689)
Yeah, I'm not sure what these people do with their zillions of hours of free time. I guess you could read through the entire library. But if you enjoy, say, cooking, you're not gonna like eating rolled oats for 50% of your meals and not having enough money to spend $2 on cilantro or fresh sage or a few lemons. If you enjoy hiking, you're not gonna love being restricted to trails that a public bus can get you to.

It seems like the idea of freedom is more important to them than what the freedom actually gets you. That the idea of waking up needing to do something to make money is just intolerable.
   55. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 19, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5880693)
It seems like the idea of freedom is more important to them than what the freedom actually gets you. That the idea of waking up needing to do something to make money is just intolerable.
Yeah, it's definitely a manifestation of a larger psychological issue. It's just the inverse of people who are pathologically driven to work all the time and make a ton of money, but never have time to enjoy the benefits that the money brings.
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5880695)
There's a large internet subculture of very early retirement folks that target a savings of X and then plan to live the next 50+ years of their lives with extreme frugality so as to stretch X out for the rest of their lives. I find it fascinating, so I read about it, but it's not really for me. I don't totally get retiring at age 35 and then being unable to own a car, not eat out at restaurants ever, no travel, and also living in dire fear of recession or expensive health problems. That type of freedom seems like it would be tough to enjoy.

That sort of "freedom" sound a lot like being in prison.
   57. PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5880697)
But I do aim to be frugal, and would like to retire earlier rather than later, so I do use these communities as a resource. I don't eat rolled oats for every meal, but I have been more seriously appreciating long underwear.

I think the "no car, no travel, all clothes are from Goodwill" thing is the most extreme version of this lifestyle. A lot of these guys are high-paid techies that can retire with a comparatively comfortable standard of living. They just retire when they're saved $1.5m, while all their colleagues are hoping to work another 20 years and make $10m.
   58. jmurph Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5880699)
Yeah, it's definitely a manifestation of a larger psychological issue. It's just the inverse of people who are pathologically driven to work all the time and make a ton of money, but never have time to enjoy the benefits that the money brings.

Good point, that is also a type of person I don't understand.
   59. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5880705)
I'm also fascinated by these people. The clear dealbreaker for me is the extreme frugality now, in my working years. I mean I'm pro good financial decision-making, but I'm also pro occasional takeout and travel and paying $200 per year for NBA League Pass.


I'm not that extreme - but I very much am trying to push up my working end date as far into the 50s as I can. Budgeting is the key - I waste plenty of money of frivolities (I probably don't need BOTH Prime and Netflix... and just last night, grabbed a last minute ticket to watch the Cubs bats take a 10 inning nap), but once you start tracking it, it becomes possible to plan it, once you start planning it, it becomes possible to shrink it by degrees. Paired with the "pay yourself first" maxim - I very much plan to exit the workforce at soon as the numbers add up. I wish I'd started more aggressively and concertedly 20 years ago rather than 10, but c'est la vie.
   60. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5880707)
They just retire when they're saved $1.5m,

$1.5M in an immediate life annuity will net a 45 y.o. male $59,814.17 annually. That's taxable.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5880710)
I'm not that extreme - but I very much am trying to push up my working end date as far into the 50s as I can. Budgeting is the key - I waste plenty of money of frivolities (I probably don't need BOTH Prime and Netflix... and just last night, grabbed a last minute ticket to watch the Cubs bats take a 10 inning nap), but once you start tracking it, it becomes possible to plan it, once you start planning it, it becomes possible to shrink it by degrees. Paired with the "pay yourself first" maxim - I very much plan to exit the workforce at soon as the numbers add up. I wish I'd started more aggressively and concertedly 20 years ago rather than 10, but c'est la vie.

Seems like more work than actually working.
   62. PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5880711)
Yes, that's why I lurk their pages. It's a modest bit of inspiration to live more frugally, and to be smarter with savings.
   63. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5880713)
Seems like more work than actually working.


They have these things called computers now....
   64. PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5880714)
$1.5M in an immediate life annuity will net a 45 y.o. male $59,814.17 annually. That's taxable.


These folks invest in riskier vehicles (S&P 500 index funds, and the like, I think) and tend to target 4% annual withdrawal. If the stock market continues on its decades-long mostly unbroken rise, that's terrific. If it doesn't ... they're ######.
   65. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5880715)

They have these things called computers now....


Yes, but thinking about everything I spend would just be mentally exhausting. I've never balanced a checkbook in my life, and I don't want to start now.

If I want to spend $150 for dinner, or $1500 for a extra mini-vacation, I want to just be able to do it, and not be worrying about the impact on some target date.
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5880717)
These folks invest in riskier vehicles (S&P 500 index funds, and the like, I think) and tend to target 4% annual withdrawal. If the stock market continues on its decades-long mostly unbroken rise, that's terrific. If it doesn't ... they're ######.

That's a totally insane strategy to bank on for 50 years of retirement. Any significant market downturn is going to permanently impair their income. It makes no sense to be super-conservative on expenses, and then take huge risk on the investment side.
   67. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:22 AM (#5880720)
These folks invest in riskier vehicles (S&P 500 index funds, and the like, I think) and tend to target 4% annual withdrawal. If the stock market continues on its decades-long mostly unbroken rise, that's terrific. If it doesn't ... they're ######.


Nah - ETFs are the way to go... and not every ETF is a pure index fund. There are plenty of bond ETFs - including things like tax-advantaged municipal bond ETFs. The risk can (and should be) balanced - and robo advisers are perfectly capable of handling the balance at a fraction of the house take for an adviser (while ETFs likewise have a fraction of the house take of an active fund manager). Indeed - total ETF market just passed managed funds in capital this month.
   68. PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:28 AM (#5880723)
Sure, ETFs. Maybe they do the Target Retirement Date funds, so it rebalances automatically as they get older. I dunno. Maybe they're more conservative than I stated. But still a fairly risky proposition.
   69. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5880728)
Yes, but thinking about everything I spend would just be mentally exhausting. I've never balanced a checkbook in my life, and I don't want to start now.


OK, that's insane.... and the beauty of the modern technical era is that I don't actually HAVE to think about it. My phone - via multiple vehicles, actually - is perfectly capable of recognizing every dollar I spend and categorizing it. The up-and-running/training of the mechanism takes time - but we're talking about a spare hour or two just to do a bunch of clicks to categorize from past statements. Eventually, it becomes nothing more a quick look at the phone and deciding that "nah, I'll just go out for a burger rather than a steak tonight because I splurged on sushi Monday" - or, looking at a couple lines on a chart and seeing that I was under the grocery budget for the week so go ahead and get the steak if you want, but consider whether you REALLY want the steak or - toss the extra 20 bucks at the robot.

   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5880733)
OK, that's insane.... and the beauty of the modern technical era is that I don't actually HAVE to think about it. My phone - via multiple vehicles, actually - is perfectly capable of recognizing every dollar I spend and categorizing it. The up-and-running/training of the mechanism takes time - but we're talking about a spare hour or two just to do a bunch of clicks to categorize from past statements. Eventually, it becomes nothing more a quick look at the phone and deciding that "nah, I'll just go out for a burger rather than a steak tonight because I splurged on sushi Monday" - or, looking at a couple lines on a chart and seeing that I was under the grocery budget for the week so go ahead and get the steak if you want, but consider whether you REALLY want the steak or - toss the extra 20 bucks at the robot.

It's not the tracking so much, as having to actually think about every transaction. I really don't need to feel guilty about every minor splurge. It seems like a bizarre neo-Calvinist way of living; you have to recognize and weigh the cost of anything fun you do, in the moment.

I've just made the decision in advance. If I want the steak, I get the steak. If that's means I retire at 62 instead of 60, that seems a small price to pay.

I guess I really can't imagine hating my job that much that I'm counting the days to retirement. If you do, for goodness sake, find a new job.
   71. jmurph Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5880740)
I guess I really can't imagine hating my job that much that I'm counting the days to retirement. If you do, for goodness sake, find a new job.

But these people are opting for no job, not a new job. For most of us that's not an option for a variety of reasons, but they're making it work.

Another caveat to all of this, most of the ones I've read about started in higher salary careers straight out of college, so they got a big headstart over most other people.
   72. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5880741)
I already said - I don't want a different job... I want no job! I'm perfectly content with my job... I like my colleagues, the compensation is fair, and I even find plenty of it challenging/stimulating - but I do it solely because it pays the bills and finances the things I actually *want* to do.

But in any case - it's not even a matter of needing to think about every transaction in micro-detail... it's just standard categorizations of the essentials and frivolities.

The other big advantage is that I can now chase 1.5 to 5% cashback/miles like a bandit... Sans budgeting it all - I'd have never trusted myself to just charge and pay off.... now, I do - and it creates another 30-40-50 bucks a month that also gets tucked away.

Indeed, the one thing I wish my little pocket robot would learn to do is allow me to stop having to pay attention to monthly reward categories... especially now that I can pay with my phone everywhere - the damn thing ought to be able to recognize card X is paying 5% back on grocery stores or Lowes or restaurants this quarter, so use that one.... but alas.
   73. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5880742)

But these people are opting for no job, not a new job. For most of us that's not an option for a variety of reasons, but they're making it work.


I just don't see the appeal if it means I have to crimp my lifestyle forever. I'd rather consume $X per year for my life (my current level) and work until 65 or even 70, than consume 50% of X for my life, and retire at 50.
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5880743)
I already said - I don't want a different job... I want no job! I'm perfectly content with my job... I like my colleagues, the compensation is fair, and I even find plenty of it challenging/stimulating - but I do it solely because it pays the bills and finances the things I actually *want* to do.

I guess I just don't get this. I really don't have an extra 50 hours a week (work plus commute) of stuff I want to do. Sleeping in, and reading an extra two books a week isn't worth ditching vacations, or not eating at nice restaurants.
   75. stanmvp48 Posted: September 19, 2019 at 12:03 PM (#5880745)
# 2 above

"I’m more interested in if they can clear the worst run differential over the last 30 seasons. Right now they’re third with -296, behind only the 1996 and 2003 iterations of the Tigers"

I noticed that the 1996 team gave up 1103 runs. I wonder where that stacks up
   76. The Good Face Posted: September 19, 2019 at 02:37 PM (#5880810)
It's not the tracking so much, as having to actually think about every transaction. I really don't need to feel guilty about every minor splurge. It seems like a bizarre neo-Calvinist way of living; you have to recognize and weigh the cost of anything fun you do, in the moment.

I've just made the decision in advance. If I want the steak, I get the steak. If that's means I retire at 62 instead of 60, that seems a small price to pay.

I guess I really can't imagine hating my job that much that I'm counting the days to retirement. If you do, for goodness sake, find a new job.


I think it's just that those people, certainly the more extreme among them, value not having to work so highly that they're willing to essentially make not having to work both a lifestyle and a full time job of its own. It's bizarre to me as well. I'm no stranger to the joys of idleness, but I value being able to do what I want/go where I want/buy what I want (within reason) without having to count the monetary cost. And yes, it means less free time to do and enjoy those things. But to me it beats the "freedom" of spending my day staring at a tree or meticulously rationing out my bean allotment for that week.
   77. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 19, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5880838)
I think it's just that those people, certainly the more extreme among them, value not having to work so highly that they're willing to essentially make not having to work both a lifestyle and a full time job of its own. It's bizarre to me as well. I'm no stranger to the joys of idleness, but I value being able to do what I want/go where I want/buy what I want (within reason) without having to count the monetary cost. And yes, it means less free time to do and enjoy those things. But to me it beats the "freedom" of spending my day staring at a tree or meticulously rationing out my bean allotment for that week.


Again, though.... you're presuming idleness. You're also presuming that some sort of meditative idleness also has no value.

Both are just subjective judgements, not objective truths.

   78. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 19, 2019 at 03:44 PM (#5880840)
But in any case - it's not even a matter of needing to think about every transaction in micro-detail... it's just standard categorizations of the essentials and frivolities.


Zonk, what app are you using for this?
   79. The Good Face Posted: September 19, 2019 at 04:03 PM (#5880848)
Again, though.... you're presuming idleness.


Nah, although living on a shoestring does limit the sort of activities one gets involved in.

You're also presuming that some sort of meditative idleness also has no value.


Not at all, I think it has real value. But it clearly has significantly more value to some people than others.

Both are just subjective judgements, not objective truths.


Of course. Some people are happy living on a shoestring for the rest of their lives after they hit 35 or whatever, as long as it means they don't have to work. Others want to work until they die.
   80. PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2019 at 04:03 PM (#5880849)
Again, though.... you're presuming idleness.

It's a fair presumption. It would take a remarkably energetic person to keep busy and entertained if they woke up with zero obligations or responsibilities, day after day, for years.

But mostly I think you missed TGF's point, which is that on the extremes of frugality it actually takes HOURS of work to be that frugal. (eg, Drying your clothes in the sun adds an hour to the laundry, biking to the grocery store adds an hour to your shopping trip, etc)

You're also presuming that some sort of meditative idleness also has no value.


Sure, it could. But not for most, at least not in huge amounts. Meditative idleness seems mostly obviously valuable in its curative effect for people that are otherwise too stressed/busy. I think that, again, it would take a remarkable person to harness a glut of meditative idleness in a satisfying way.
   81. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 19, 2019 at 04:14 PM (#5880854)
I think that, again, it would take a remarkable person to harness a glut of meditative idleness in a satisfying way.
In the name of science, I nobly volunteer to be a test case for this experiment.
   82. The Good Face Posted: September 19, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5880870)
But mostly I think you missed TGF's point, which is that on the extremes of frugality it actually takes HOURS of work to be that frugal. (eg, Drying your clothes in the sun adds an hour to the laundry, biking to the grocery store adds an hour to your shopping trip, etc)


Right. It can take a lot of work to do nothing. At least to live the kind of life many of the hardcore FIRE folks seem to want to lead.
   83. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 19, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5880871)
Zonk, what app are you using for this?


I use Mint, which is an Intuit product. There are plenty of others, though.
   84. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 19, 2019 at 04:55 PM (#5880872)
you need to make sure it doesn't look like the NBA's, which has been accused of corruption from everyone

Way late on this, and haven't read of the thread, but no, this isn't true. There's a bunch of stupid conspiracy theories*, and are every year regardless of who gets the pick (there's always a narrative that explains why the winning team won and the losing teams lost - and that doesn't prove ####). So a lot of really dumb people think it's corrupt, but there's no evidence it ever has been or is.

*The first one, the Ewing one and the "cold envelope" is by far the least crazy, but still, kinda crazy.
   85. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: September 19, 2019 at 06:10 PM (#5880898)
I think that, again, it would take a remarkable person to harness a glut of meditative idleness in a satisfying way

Thanks!

   86. Jay Z Posted: September 19, 2019 at 08:32 PM (#5880957)
I guess I just don't get this. I really don't have an extra 50 hours a week (work plus commute) of stuff I want to do. Sleeping in, and reading an extra two books a week isn't worth ditching vacations, or not eating at nice restaurants.


Then volunteer.

I don't understand how anyone could WANT to have to work for a living. Because what if you can't. What if you get disabled, what if your skills get outmoded, what if someone with power hates you and get blackballed. There is no guarantee that you are going to be able to work to meet your desires.

So take the money. This is the first worldest of first worldest problems. Secure your future, then worry about filling time. Time is so precious. I really can't understand someone who can't find anything to do with their time, so they must fill it with wage labor.
   87. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 08:41 PM (#5880959)
Then volunteer.

I don't understand how anyone could WANT to have to work for a living. Because what if you can't. What if you get disabled, what if your skills get outmoded, what if someone with power hates you and get blackballed. There is no guarantee that you are going to be able to work to meet your desires.


I don't understand. Why can't I work until I'm unable? All your points are huge pluses for working, and making as much as you can while you're able.

So take the money. This is the first worldest of first worldest problems. Secure your future, then worry about filling time. Time is so precious. I really can't understand someone who can't find anything to do with their time, so they must fill it with wage labor.

I am taking the money. The people who constrain their lifestyles severely to retire early are not.

I like what I can buy with the money my time produces more than I like the cheap stuff I could do with that time. I also like being a productive member of society.
   88. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:30 AM (#5881141)
This thread is presenting a huge false dichotomy that you have to be super frugal in order to retire early.

Plenty of people save a good chunk of their income while living a fulfilling life, owning a home, taking vacations, and still retiring early. It takes a few choices and doing things smart, but it isn't accepting a life of hardship.


   89. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5881146)
Nah, we were just talking about a certain subset of particular weirdos.
   90. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: September 20, 2019 at 10:13 AM (#5881149)
Zonk, what app are you using for this?

I use Mint, which is an Intuit product. There are plenty of others, though.


Ditto- I've tried a few others (Pocketguard is an improving alternative), but yeah... I've found Mint to be the best.

This thread is presenting a huge false dichotomy that you have to be super frugal in order to retire early.

Plenty of people save a good chunk of their income while living a fulfilling life, owning a home, taking vacations, and still retiring early. It takes a few choices and doing things smart, but it isn't accepting a life of hardship.


Exactly.

For me, it was initially just a concerted effort to pay off debt... then, a concerted effort to max retirement contributions annually.... then, finally, a concerted effort to invest beyond pure 401k/IRA in order to fund a potential gap in time/capital on retirement savings.

I've certainly been fortunate - working with the same company for a long time now moving up to different roles with commensurate salary bumps, but the reality is that I'm basically living on the same take home pay (accounting for the contributions to various vehicles) today that I was living on 6-7 years ago.

I wasn't living like a hermit then and I don't now. I've just learned to be a bit less impulsive, plan better, and pay myself rather than a financer.
   91. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 20, 2019 at 02:43 PM (#5881245)
Right. It can take a lot of work to do nothing. At least to live the kind of life many of the hardcore FIRE folks seem to want to lead.


Yeah, it seems for most of us here that posting and lurking on BTF is a large part of our "workday". :-) It's really not that bad of a gig. Those extreme frugal lifestyles seem like way too much effort.
   92. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 20, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5881266)
For me, it was initially just a concerted effort to pay off debt... then, a concerted effort to max retirement contributions annually.... then, finally, a concerted effort to invest beyond pure 401k/IRA in order to fund a potential gap in time/capital on retirement savings.


Ditto. I feel fortunate to have had relatively small student loans (about 30K after graduating in 2000). I had roommates for most of my 20s while paying off debt and trying to put as much away as possible. Savings have been dialed way back since having kids, but I still put away enough to get all available matches.

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