F you money. FU money. F*ck you money. It's all the same. F You Money is having enough money to tell others to F Off without fearing financial repercussions.
I'm sure some of you have dreamt of telling your annoying micromanager to F Off. But you can't because you still want that raise and promotion.
If you spend any amount of time online, you probably want to tell some folks to F Off as well. But given online is generally forever, you tend to hold your tongue unless someone really offends you.
If you live in an expensive city, you need at least $3 million per person to have F You money. If you live in the heartland, where I continue to buy real estate, you may only need $1 million per person to have F You money.
Hence, one way to get F You Money is to conduct geoarbitrage!
The Origin Of F You Money
The term F You Money seems to have first been mentioned by Johnny Carson in a Rolling Stones interview in 1979 and then by Burt Reynolds in the 1986 movie, Heat.
I’ve heard the term since the 1990s on Wall Street. When Goldman Sachs finally went public in 1999, there were plenty of partners with F You Money walking around the halls.
In fact, I still remember randomly bumping into a 20-year GS partner in Montreal post IPO. He was at a coffee shop on a date with a young woman other than his wife. I was there taking an Asian company management around visiting Caisse de dépôt, a Canadian money manager.
I guess the partner said F You to his marriage! Or maybe not. We never discussed the encounter upon our return to HQ in NYC. That might have been a career-limiting move.
All I know is the GS partner was living it up with his tens of millions in new liquidity. He couldn't give a damn what anybody thought of him, let alone some peon second-year analyst!
How Much Is Considered F You Money?
Based on over 9,000 votes in the Financial Samurai poll below, $5 million is the #1 vote-getter to feel financially free. To be clear, $5 million is the minimum net worth hurdle, not the maximum.
I personally chose $10 million because $10 million is what's necessary to generate ~$350,000 in risk-free income based on today's risk-free rate. However, by taking slightly more risk, $10 million should be able to generate $400,000 – $500,000 a year to live the F You Lifestyle.
When your investments can generate a top 1% income by themselves, that's clearly F You Money.
Therefore, between $5 million to $10 million seems like a reasonable minimum range before you can consider having F You Money.
The more expensive the location you live in, the higher the hurdle and vice versa. Just don't forget to keep up with roaring inflation.
Once You Have F You Money, It's Hard To Tell Others To F Off!
The interesting thing I've discovered once you obtain F You Money is that it's still extremely difficult to tell others to F Off!
Everybody fantasizes about telling someone who wronged them in the past to go screw themselves. After leaving work behind with $3 million in 2012, I certainly did.
However, once you get to this level of wealth it's more common to turn more apathetic than belligerent. Your detractors start turning into curious case studies on what happened to make them so nasty.
I've been tempted to tell internet trolls and the Internet Retirement Police who judge my lifestyle while providing no value to F Off. However, instead, I usually defer to a more inquisitive response.
Using their perspective, I can often write new comment commentary posts with a new theme to keep the party going! Hooray!
Society has an incredible way of keeping people in check.
The Benefits Of Having F You Money
There's an old saying that goes, “hell is other people.”
If you think about all the pain and suffering in your life, it's generally due to someone else. The sheer act of telling someone to F Off is a response to getting rid of people who make your life miserable.
The following are five incredible benefits of having F You Money.
1) You stand up for what’s right more often.
There’s a lot of crap in the world that goes unchallenged because people are afraid of the repercussions. How many times have you bit your tongue because you were worried about the consequences?
When you have F You Money, you are more confident to speak your mind when you see an injustice because your survival doesn’t depend on your reputation, a person, or a company. There would probably be less bullying, racism, sexism, and other discriminatory words and actions.
Think about all the people who have to toe the line, even if they disagree with their company's ethics. They depend on their income and healthcare benefits to survive. How unfortunate.
2) You care less about what other people think.
Caring less about what people think is a type of superpower. Instead of desiring fame and recognition, you desire peace and anonymity.
It feels liberating to have insults and insinuations roll off your back like water off a duck. There’s less desire to try and get even or one up your dissenter because you’re already set for life.
Insults are usually hurled by unhappy people who want what you have. They are insecure and hope to bring you down to their level so they can feel better about themselves. Envy is a tough feeling to overcome.
Showing neutrality or even compassion is more common for folks with F You Money. The reason is because every insult is a reminder of how good you have it.
3) You become less afraid to fail.
I'm a perpetual failure in many things because I keep trying new things.
Once you have F You Money, your failures aren't going to crush you anymore. Instead, your failures just beat up your ego until it naturally re-inflates. After all, your default setting is a good life with lots of freedom. When you're less afraid to fail, your chances to succeed at new things go up.
Think about all the highly educated people who go the safe route and get a job they don't particular like. Even though they went to a private university and got an MBA at another private university, they have a hard time starting their own business, which is what some really want to do.
Why? Because they invested too much in their education. As a result, they just end up working for someone else's dreams for too long. When they are old and looking back at their lives, they are filled with regret for not having tried.
With F You Money, you gain more courage to pursue your dreams.
4) You hang out with people because you want to, not because you need to.
There are times when you need to go spend time with someone you may not particularly like because you need something from them e.g. business, connections, a job, etc. When you have F You Money, you have the freedom to only hang out with people you like. Everybody else be damned!
Think about all the people online who join a herd because they find safety in numbers. They end up creating one big echo chamber where everybody looks alike, talks alike, and thinks alike. Is there any wonder why cults are formed and people lose the ability to think for themselves?
Being able to think independently may be one of the best benefits of having F You Money. Since you’re no longer afraid to think differently, you do.
5) People don't piss you off as much anymore.
The only people who piss me off are those who are perpetually late, those who say one thing and do another, racists, and bad drivers.
But once you have F You Money, fewer people piss you off. Even if someone inevitably disappoints you, you don't care as much because you don't need or want anything from them.
If you're early on your journey to F You Money, then try to accumulate at least $300,000. $300,000 is the minimum net worth needed where you finally start to feel a little more financially free.
Once you get to $300,000 you set your sights immediately on $500,000. And once you get to $500,000, getting to a $1+ million net worth is an inevitability.
If you really want to have F U Money, the check out my extreme net worth targets. Once you've got enough money to generate livable passive income, make growing your net worth a game.
Having More Money Doesn't Change Your Core
Are you super motivated to accumulate F You Money now? Good. You should be! Financial independence is worth fighting for so you no longer have to pretend to be who you are not.
Just know this. Money simply amplifies who you ALREADY are. If you're like most people, then having F You Money isn't going to suddenly turn you into a saint or an asshole. Only people who are already assholes tend to become bigger assholes once they have money!
Having F You Money actually has the opposite effect for most people. Having money makes normal people less agitated, less insecure, and much more appreciative of what they've got.
In other words, if you want to naturally be kinder, get richer! I promise you will become less envious, more appreciative, and more empathetic of others if you're financially secure.
Once you've got yours, it's easier to say and do good things. Why else do wealthy people, especially those who achieved their wealth through inheritance, try and give back as much as they can?
Inheriting F You Money also brings some guilt because the money wasn't earned. These folks realize they are one of the lucky ones because goodness knows there are plenty of other more deserving people out there who aren't as lucky.
The more money you have beyond what is required to be happy, the more you desire to give back. You actually feel bad for those who hate you the most. After all, outsized wealth is mostly due to luck.
In fact, once you have F You Money, you might find it harder to tell people to F Off because you become more aware of how good you have things.
Who Do You Want To Say F You To?
I've wanted to tell some of my old bosses in finance to F Off before, but I never ended up doing so. I don't blame my direct boss for giving me a terrible bonus my final year in finance.
Conditions were tough and he enabled me to get a severance package that changed my life for the better. I also don't blame one boss for micromanaging me based out of New York City because I was becoming more of a renegade.
Think about all the people you want to say F You to. Do they really matter? While they’re stuck in misery, you are free!
The severance package was the #1 reason for giving me the confidence to retire early and work on my online endeavors. In turn, it has ballooned to something greater than I ever expected.
I'm thankful a difficult boss and a tough economic environment spurred me to change my life.
At the end of the day, your financial independence number is not real if you don't do something about a suboptimal situation. F You Money may be required to give you the courage to change.
But hopefully, most of us will change for the better long before needing a ton of money.
Thankful To The Gatekeepers And The Detractors
We should be more thankful to our gatekeepers and detractors. Without them, life might be too easy. And when life is too easy, we stop appreciating what we have.
Oh, but I do want to say this. For those of you who don't pick up your dog's poop and allow your dogs to bark incessantly at night or in the early hours of the morning, F You! Please be more considerate.
For everybody else, let's have peace on Earth. After this damn pandemic and the tragic war in Ukraine, being more forgiving and nicer sounds like a good idea.
Generating More F You Money With Real Estate
Real estate is my favorite way to build wealth and make more F You money. It is a tangible asset that is less volatile, provides utility, and generates income. As funny money comes and goes, real estate tends to hold its value better.
In 2016, I started diversifying into heartland real estate to take advantage of lower valuations and higher cap rates. I did so by investing $810,000 with real estate crowdfunding platforms. Now real estate generates about $150,000 in F you passive income.
Take a look at my favorite real estate investing platform Fundrise. Fundrise enables all investors to diversify into real estate through their private eFunds. Fundrise has been around since 2012 and invests primarily in single-family and multi-family rental properties, my favorite asset class.
Below is my real estate investment dashboard where I've received over $624,000 in distributions since 2016.
Recommendation Once You Have F U Money
One of the best ways to accumulate F You Money is by tracking your wealth with Personal Capital. It is a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize your money.
Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 25+ different accounts to manage my finances on an Excel spreadsheet. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how all my accounts are doing. This includes my net worth and my cash flow.
The best feature is their Portfolio Fee Analyzer. It runs your investment portfolio(s) through its software in a click of a button to see what you are paying. I found out I was paying $1,700 a year in portfolio fees I had no idea I was hemorrhaging!
There is no better financial tool online that has helped me more to achieve financial freedom.
Reader Questions And Suggestions
How much money is required to have F You Money? Do you think you'll be able to tell your detractors to F Off once you have enough money? If you have F You Money, how has your life changed?
Pick up a copy of Buy This, Not That, my instant Wall Street Journal bestseller. The book helps you make more optimal investment decisions so you can live a better, more fulfilling life.
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139 thoughts on “Once You Have F You Money, It’s Hard To Tell Others To F Off!”
You don’t need FU money to say FU to those who don’t pick up after their dogs or to those who litter :-) You can do it at anytime… They are annoying.
OMG I want to say FU to all the people don’t pick up after their dogs too!!! It’s so annoying! Along with people who completely ignore park rules and bring dogs off leash to playgrounds. Anyway…
I like the points of not being afraid to fail and caring less about what others think with FU money. I’m also a big fan of your article on stealth wealth!
“Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash; your picture in the paper nor money in the bank either. Just refuse to bear them. ”
-William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust
Until you acquire your FU money, remember this. Life is too short to wait. It’s served me well as I work my way to financial independence.
“ Life is too short to wait.”
Love this attitude. And as we get older, this reality becomes especially apparent.
Most people with FU money don’t engage, and I have the perfect movie scene to describe why:
In one of the Matrix movies (either the 2nd or 3rd one), the agent Mr. Smith turns into a multitude of Mr. Smiths and starts fighting Neo. Once Neo gets tired of fighting the Mr. Smiths, Neo simply flies away. Mr. Smith can’t fly, so he just looks as Neo goes somewhere he can’t, then he just walks away.
THIS!! is what FU money can do for you. FU money allows you to be free. The people who gave you so much grief are not free. Therefore all you have to do is go where they can’t go…which is to leave the workplace that they’re trapped in. This is the equivalent of flying away. All the asshole’s can do is to helplessly watch you fly away, then go back to their cubicles.
This is better than cursing someone out. This is you truly showing off your super power. You possess the power of FU money.
Love the analogy!
True when you have enough so that you don’t really care what others think sounds great, and it is, however I found you then begin to embark on the next life evolution i.e., who am I, and are my current choices hurting or helping me?
Personally this is where the greater challenge and satisfaction is found, because we live with ourselves 24/7, and have the opportunity be either be the worst or best boss of ourselves.
Of course we can do this without FU money, however FU money removes these excuses that we maybe are too afraid to address personally about ourselves.
If you can dial this in before achieving FI then your chances of staying FI will dramatically increase and while you’re on your journey to achieving FI. Your chances of achieving FI sooner will also increase because, as your focus and choices will be more aligned to what’s important to you and your core values, meaning less time, focus and care about the opinions of others. Which is the purpose of FU money and FI anyway isn’t it?
My FU moment was when I told my boss I’m retiring because I have FU money but no one knows it or would really believe it. I got my second FU moment when two days later he was fired. Worst boss I’ve ever had. I drive a 5 year old Mazda3 with a dent on the driver’s side but zip around town with more confidence than someone driving a $100k car. It’s funny how just knowing I can buy an expensive car keeps me comfortable and proud of driving a piece of junk.
I just FIRE’d because I had enough FU money and I’d just been given a new boss with 0 experience on how to do *my* job, let alone manage anyone – but who was best buds with his boss, funny how that works. I’m not bitter and wish them all well, just incredibly grateful I had a GREAT boss long enough to accumulate my FU stash. But I feel for everyone left behind to deal with the chaos. I don’t think there’s any need for me to tell anyone to F Off, because in a few months, it’ll be REALLY clear who kept the ship afloat previously and what happens when you promote your incompetent buddies over those who actually get work done.
Nepotism is alive and well! That’s just the way the world is working more now, as well as a decline in merit-based reward.
Congrats for leaving a job, you know longer enjoy. I hope you were able to negotiate a severance though. If you did, that is truly a big win. It’s like walking away with a lottery ticket and if not, I hope you got a pension.
I voted for other in the poll. I’ve had a few opportunities to stretch my “F U” legs over the years, but I am never aggressive or a jerk about it. I subscribe to the philosophy that the best revenge is a life well lived.
I do some part time consulting now in my retirement, and I’ve had a few customers attempt to speak to me aggressively. They get shut down in a hurry, it’s fun when they demand a meeting must take place next Tuesday & I tell them I won’t be available as I’ll be on the French Riviera attending a festival, but I say nicely that I’ll be sure to get back with them when I return.
I love checking in on this blog. It’s fun, folksy, true with facts, and usually wise. And most of this post fits the pattern.
But is this really true: (?)
“Why else do you think some people swing so far left in the political spectrum once they have money? Once you’ve got yours, it’s easier to say and do good things. Why else do wealthy people, especially those who achieved their wealth through inheritance, try and give back as much as they can?”
I’m pretty sure it’s not. The best analyst I know who links politics to wealth (and other factors) is Andrew Gelman at Columbia University. He’s my kind of geek. Anyhow, politics is mainly tied to your location (who you tend to hang out with) and $. And $ tends to push people toward the right, since they benefit from lower taxes. Now, lots else going on in California, and especially the Bay Area, but conditional on location, most everywhere (including Nor Cal), more $, more right wing. Those are the actual facts.
I’m less certain about the second part, but I believe I’ve seen a number of papers indicating that those who inherit their wealth are less giving than those who closer to self made. (I write “closer to self made,” because none of us is actually self made, right?).
But if you have evidence of either of these things I’d be grateful for the references.
Still: I do love your blog and am happy to see how successful you are with it.
This article posed a lot of interesting questions. I am saver by nature, but in the last few years have created an incrediably sucessful business. 4 years ago when I began our business we had a net worth of about 1m. In the past few years we have been able to save 4m in our after tax accounts and make other sizable investments and have raised our net worth outside of our business to about 6m.
We are currently investaging selling a signficant portion of our business with a handful of different PE firms and will likely have a couple offers to review next week, in addition to the one we already have. All of these offers will give us true F you money. 20m+ cash with 60% exit.
The last few years for us have been wild with our business consuming both of our lives and our business becoming incredibly sucessful. I am 35 and my wife is 33, she left corporate health care to join our small business. During the last few months I have done a lot of thinking on what is next and what I want to do with my life. My current dream is being a part of the team that builds a billion dollar company in our space, something yet to be done. I am young and do not want to retire. I love going to work everyday. I am having the time of my life scaling this business. We plan to have children within the next year or so. My wife wants less responsiblity in the business and my goal would be to assit in that manner, but we need more staff.
My father, who is also CFO of one largest banks, tells me if I take one of these deals I am making the largest mistake of my life. But there is a reason why half my 9 sibilings do not speak to him. He has an incrediably sucessful in his career, but is also a train wreck in every other part of his life. For example, he didn’t speak to me for a year when I turned down a job in corporate banking to go work in a friends small business 12 years ago. Since then, I have grown to be as close to him as you reasonably can and call him every week.
We are very blessed to live the life we lead today. To even have an opporunity or mulitple is life changing. Honestly I am not entirely sure we will accept one. It would have to be the right partner and opporuninty. A couple are very interesting and I believe we could build something great. Or atleast that is the goal.
I feel like the smart decision is the take a deal. But honestly sometimes I wonder sometimes what do I have to lose? I’ve already been way more sucessful at it then I ever imagined.
As I sit here on my yacht moored off the coast of Palermo I ponder… will the $100 million in my various liquid savings accounts be enough… will my free and clear portfolio of 73 single family homes in the Cupertino area suffice for providing the income stream needed in retirement?
These are the things that keep me up at night.
Hi to all,
First I want to confirm my basic aim = 1 million .
Second I want do describe my variants of investments:
200k in Europe, 100k in Australia, 100k in USA markets (shares) = 400 k all
100k in a basic home, 2 x 50k for small homes with land in Europe (Spain, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, etc.) = 200 k all
100 k will be enough to play on marker with shares (short investments and sells) to achieve 2-5k/month (this is more than enough in East Europe to live like a king);
100 k will be as investment in new technology shares (and annual dividends will be for excursions in Europe and other destinations)
30-50k for transport (10-20 years old vehicle (Honda, Toyota – endurance) with a tent for camping) and AirBnB :)
100k for learning (something with PC support – maybe Linux administrator :) )
50k for any case!
I think its all = 1million , You have to believe that in my region with 3-4k/month income is enough for a family to live very good life and to be happy!
Best regards and enjoy Life!
Sounds like a good life to me! Know what you want, don’t want too much, appreciate what you have and fight on!
Here here on the FU to people who don’t clean up after their dogs in public areas or in front of other people’s homes. It’s so inconsiderate!
I definitely wanted to say FU to some clients at my old job who never said thank you and yelled at me for things out of my control. Although I never had the satisfaction of hanging up the phone on them or telling them to f off, I was able to save up enough money and turn my side hustles into a primary hustle and escape the grind to do my own thing thank goodness.
You can always send them and email or call them now to share your thoughts! Especially since they aren’t your clients any longer! In fact, you can share a story about them in your next post. It feels great!
For me, it’s more the ability to say “F this” rather than F U. Of course, there may be an implicit FU embedded in certain instances of “F this”.
I have been toying with early retirement since 2015, and have said “F this” on numerous occasions since. Some examples:
1. Negotiated a severance package and got the hell out of the most lucrative job I ever had in 2015 after my boss got pushed into “retirement” and the new boss was an unmitigated tool. This is when I first started considering early retirement – looked at the numbers and nope, would have been far too lean of a FIRE approach for my taste at that point. But I certainly had more than enough to take a risk and say “F this”.
2. Quit my next job after 2 years of dealing with an CEO who fancied himself as the next Buffett, but really was just a narcissistic wannabe with a serious case of ADD. Again, negotiated a nice exit (although not nearly as lucrative as the previous one).
3. Quit another job after 2 days when I realized the soul-sucking commute would make me miserable.
4. Up next: I work in finance & accounting, with a specific focus on publicly traded companies. I just read the SEC’s new proposed rules on climate-related disclosures. It is complete virtue-signaling make-work BS that will provide little or no value to investors. I have decided that I will never work on it. I will simply finally pull the trigger and walk away into early retirement if and when the new rules take effect. Fortunately, I’m now in a position for what many people might call Fat FIRE (it feels more like just “chubby” FIRE to me).
A lot of change in the past 7 years! But thank goodness for the bull market during this time period to give us more opportunities.
Go for it!
F U money to me is when you can afford to fight the powerful and not be ruined.
I disagree w/your assessment of 5 million. Of course I’m aware you live in a very high cost of living area though, I have 2 lifetime pensions that total just over 80K a year, half of which is tax free. I never made over 75K a year. I own 4 rentals which bring in a little over 3K a month after all rental mortgages are paid. My primary mortgage is a little over 2K a month. So I live mortgage free. I live just outside the Seattle area. Although not exactly SF level cost of living, but not cheap either.
Im 53, and wife is 54 and I retired at 47. Be smart with money and invest in real estate as early as you can, I started at 29. Live below your means and invest in real estate, retirement funds, etc and you will be set and able to leave a legacy for your family to continue on and build as I continue to build as always looking for more real estate as we are closing on another cash flowing rental in the first week of April. Life time pensions are a holy grail!
I agree lifetime pensions are the holy grail! Your pension is worth about $3 million. So add that to your net worth, and maybe you’re closer to $5 million than you think.
But you’re one of the lucky ones. The majority of us will not receive lifetime pensions at all.
Here’s my proposal on how to calculate the value of your pension.
Any children or parents to take care of?
Yes, I have a step-son, 19. He will inherit it all, only if he continues to be the great person he is. He will never be able to sell a property for the money. Can only sell a property out of the future trust to purchase via 1031.
I moved my parents in w/us after I retired. My dad passed away a little over a year ago. It is great to have been able to do this for them. Thankfully my mom is doing well.
If your estimate of my pension is worth 3 million than I’m already over 5 million, pushing 6 million. Keep up the great articles. I Have learned a lot since I found your articles a couple years ago! Thanks!
I’ve been working for 20 years now and my perception of FU money has changed now that I have more professional and personal experiences. It would be great to have enough money so that one doesn’t ever have to rely on an employer to pay the bills. However, it could be a long time before reaching that FU money goal. So, I think it’s also valid to have enough money to fund my life until I move onto the next great position/opportunity where my qualities, skills, and experience are valued. I’ve spoken to a few hiring folks at various organizations recently and they are having a difficult time filling positions because candidates are not qualified. Knowing that I’m a good employee and would be welcomed at other organizations allows me the option of not putting up with BS. Having a mini FU account is comforting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m diligently working on having enough FIRE funds but don’t want to be miserable, for years, in the meantime.
For sure, it is a balance. The best is to enjoy the journey and have enough financial security so that nothing can really bog you down for too long.
We got it caught up with certain financial figures bc it’s easy and people like me write about them!
But I also mentioned that $300,000 is the start feeling more financially free. It’s the journey that counts the most!
1) You stand up for what’s right more often.
2) You care less about what other people think.
3) You become less afraid to fail.
4) You hang out with people because you want to, not because you need to.
5) People don’t piss you off as much anymore.
Nailed it on all counts. I vested my pension last year and I’m unionized so I am in no danger of not being able to at least retire, regardless of what may come. I also only intend to work two more years. At that point, our take-home from passive income (not including investments) will exceed our current take-home. We also have a few million in our portfolio and I am the executor for a pair of wills for the older generation that will bring me a couple of million more. For various reasons, I was never really free to go start my own business, but I’ve proven pretty successful with both real estate and investing, despite starting with $300 after I graduated from a Midwestern university and joined the military.
That all means I’m pretty much immune to both carrots and sticks. I already make six figures so there is no promotion or pay raise that will especially tempt me at this point. No set of new skills I care to strive for so as to amplify my resume. And no threat that can worry me overmuch.
Getting that call to the director’s office used to be worrisome, even though it was usually just to receive a surprise performance bonus check. Now there is no sweat whatsoever. And if they want something that I have a problem with, or that is not feasible. I do say no, and tell them why. And I’m relaxed and possibly even amused by the whole thing.
On the other hand, there is no one I really care enough about to say the F word to. At some previous jobs perhaps, sure, but that’s water long gone over the dam.
Actually, you may be spot on with the 5 million figure, too. Using your “value of a pension” formula, we did go over that figure a while back–and that is just about where I started to feel that I was in a position where I could be a little more, uh, open in my opinions.
Cool. There’s definitely a benefit of writing based off first-hand experience! And then recording oh one feels and the pros and cons.
Flying private to me would be the best way to say F U. I haven’t done it yet but when I do there’s gonna be a middle finger sticking straight in the air!!
When you are flying private though, who are you saying F U too though? The birds? :)
Metaphorically speaking, everyone who told me I would fail. In reality, yup just the birds.
Personally, I always said people to F off when they deserved it, even when I didn’t had the F you money … Maybe that’s not the most strategic way to behave. But, it’s the way I am. I don’t like to do business with people who don’t deserve it.
Now that I am closer to F you money, I can feel what you say. I tend to be more apathetic towards those people. I am just myself. If they don’t like it, that’s their problem, not mine.
I also realize more how lucky I am. Although I don’t feel guilty for what I have accomplished, I try to be more considerate with others. Also, I’m trying to turn more into understanding people rather than just reacting to bad behaviors.
One thing that surprise me the most in society today, is how rushed and stressed people are in general. Whether they have to accumulate enough money to pay their next rent, or they have personal mortgages so large that they can’t wait before they earn more money, I don’t know.
But then, I remember that no matter how stressed they are, I will receive my next dividend payments no matter what I do. So I try to relax and be as kind as possible.
After all, maybe that’s the most bad ass you can be when you have the F you money …
Good on you for telling things how it is. Just not the best strategy for getting ahead.
Playing office politics is an important skill for max salary and promotions. Some truly are masters at the game, which is commendable.
I just had enough after 13 years. I didn’t want the money or the title enough so I left. Everything is rational!
It’s probably more bad than good. But I was never interested in politics. When I figured that it’s how most large corporations work, and they don’t really care about real individual performance, I gave up and looked to succeed in other ways.
At first, I though I was broken. But my view changed when I read the books of Steve Jobs and Ray Dalio.
Steve Jobs explain very well how these type of bureaucratic behaviours leads very large and well-funded corporations like Xerox or IBM to spend a fortune on research and development or M&A, but yet miss on simple but fundamental changes in technologies.
Ray Dalio explains that it’s pointless to complain on something if you don’t add any value at the same time, but that not raising concerns on something that can be harmful to an organisation could be as equally as bad for this organisation. It’s also the responsibility of an organisation to listen to its employees when they raises valid concerns. Otherwise, the individuals inside the orgainisation can’t do anything about it.
Finally, I agree also with Carl Icahn when he says bad management in America is more the norm than the exception. This can be hurtful to investors. But it can give rise to the best opportunities when this bad management can be removed.
I have witnessed it myself and now I try to profit from that.
I was hoping you’d say that F U money is a year’s worth of savings, enough to cover expenses for that one year. To me, having $300,000, $500,000, or $3 million is more like financial freedom, meaning at that point I can pretty much walk away and not worry about money. Hopefully at that point, I’ve had created revenue streams.
That being said, I have a year’s worth of F U money that I never used even though I had a micromanager who drove me nuts. On my weekly status reports, she wanted to know how much time I spent on each task. She only got the job because she knew the hiring VP. Definitely not qualified to do the job or manage. I was also getting sabatoged by her. I wanted to take a leadership class. HR had already agreed to reimburse me the cost of the class. My PITA manager found a tiny little clause in the company policy and kept asking questions to the point that HR had to deny me my reimbursement.
When I found a new job, I so wanted to tell her to go F off. But I didn’t.
By the way, it is possible to build up $500+ K worth of net worth but still be clueless on how to implement strategies to create revenue streams outside of stock portfolios. (Don’t ask me how I know.)
Ah, your old job didn’t sound very fun. Glad you got out!
One year’s worth of expenses is great. But it is not enough to be considered F U money. Still have to depend on a gatekeeper for survival. Still have to play nice with people you don’t admire.
$500K is great! Should generate $15-$25K passively a year if fully invested.
As a business owner I am happy to pay for leadership classes but always surprised that people don’t just sign up even without reimbursement.
: Take these four hours of training to position yourself for the next tier of jobs earning 20-100% more money? Oh – I can’t spend the $200 or take the time to read the books or watch the fee videos. Crazy.
Sam – as always, thanks for the great articles!
I really like your take, Steve A. As a small business owner, I branched out into real estate about ten years ago. Prior to buying my first of 3 rental homes, I devoured every book, or information source I could lay my hands on. I put in a little effort, and today, I have my business (insurance) but I also have an extra 1.2 million equity in 3 passive income producing single family homes. Long after my insurance business is gone, my family will have the real estate from a little extra effort given to create a small legacy.
Fantastic article, Sam. Well done again.
Regarding the risk-free rate of return of about 2.5% today, what treasury-related mutual funds, etc. would you recommend to achieve this rate since CDs are nowhere near that rate? Warm wishes….
Thanks. You can simply buy the 10-year treasury bond yielding 2.5% and hold to maturity risk free. But there’s a good chance the 10-year bond yield will rise to 3-3.5% over the next 12 months so I wouldn’t be too motivated yet.
I used the 10-year yield more as a barometer, the risk free opportunity cost, for all investment returns combined.
Understood – thank you.
If inflation is realistically at 10%, how is a negative 7.5% return risk free?
Sure. Tell me how much risk you took to earn 2.5% risk free and is the risk free alternative? How much is your portfolio up this year and what are you investing in?
So far, real estate continues to do well in 2022.
Fundrise, xle, xlu, Iau, Ibonds, some Fidelity funds. I would guess it is up slightly for the year but I don’t check that frequently. My point is, there is no “risk free” investment that gets you a positive real rate of return. The closest I can think of is an Ibond where one can nearly break even when taking inflation into account.
In your example of holding a 10 year treasury bond at 2.5% to maturity and calling it risk free, you are ignoring the risk of a debased currency 10 years down the road.
Sam, statistically speaking, the richer you are the less percentage of your wealth you actually donate to charity, a few well known anomalies aside. Further, research upon research has shown that the richer you get, the less likely you are to empathize, the less likely you are to feel that the rules apply to you and so on. In fact, as a long time reader, I remember when you used to have a Honda Fit and you were complaining about how a lady in a Porsche thought that she owned the road just because she had a bigger car. Enjoy your content as always, but hoping to share some tidbits as well. Keep up the good work. When are you going to have Tik Tok account? I feel like you could do really well there.
If you remember that post, then you are indeed a long time reader!
There is a chance the aggressive Porsche driver might not actually be rich, but stressed out trying to get to a job to pay for her Porsche. She’s always speeding in our residential neighborhood.
Curious, what do you think the benefit is of being on Tik Tok? I’ve got about a 20 hour limit per week online. Anymore starts to feel too much like work.
Are you finding yourself having more free time nowadays?
When I was younger I’d have definitely told people to F off after achieving my goal, now that I’m close to getting my F…U money, I don’t care what others think of me.
I have a different perspective on definition of FU
Money. More that it is adequate to cover the transition to a new job or career not that it is essentially FI money like you frame in this post. So 6 months of expenses may be considered FU money. Just a different perspective on definition.
I 100% agree with this! When I got to 12 months expenses I developed an FU approach to work (Note: I’m in IT, so my skillset has been highly mobile for 30 years as well). Able to give my opinion, able to ignore the politics, able to work on the tasks I believe best benefit my employer (in terms of why they hired me to begin with).
Been like this for close to 15 years now and it was the best shift in my career as it enabled me to continue working frankly. I’m able to go lean FIRE, but with this attitude I’m able to keep moving forward toward fat FIRE.
Congrats on getting to lean FIRE! Now most of your gains will start feeling like gravy.
Let’s just hope our investments stay steady.
I disagree that having 6 months of living expenses is F You Money. That is more bare bones minimum money to survive and feel Ok day to day.
But all is good regardless of what you feel. As long as you feel 6 months is all you need to do what you want, that’s all that matters.
I think that the financial freedom that comes with having FU money would enable me to just avoid the people who are selfish, abrasive and narcissistic. It would also enable me to be more generous to the less fortunate.
Have been waiting a long time for an article on FU money Sam. I discuss that concept with others many times (last night a gentlemen told me 400k, my definition is 5 million) but this article framed 90% of my feelings. I too have taken on many tasks but closer to getting that FU money you realize that your success is not predicate one way or the other on successful results thus “trying too hard”. The stock market however is “two steps backward for every 1.5 forward” as of late.
One issue I’ve found is that the job ladder in my field has an earnings structure that grows geometrically. For a while it’s 20-30% each level you’re promoted. Then high six figures, then low seven… and then you get into the C suite and an eight figures range. (That latter group spends money in ways that blow my mind.) As you progress up the ladder, your perception of costs changes significantly, and with it an FU number. We’ve avoided getting addicted to the really expensive things I see my leadership team doing, but I still get anxiety wondering how we would live off what I once thought would be a comfortable level of passive income.
Another factor is the crazy expensive real estate market we live in. For years I plowed everything I could towards a goal of a nice SFH. It created wealth on paper, but to live off that we would have to cash out and move somewhere we don’t want to live.
What are some crazy or anxiety-inducing things these wealthy people are doing?
The only thing that I know Is that the ultra rich fly private and have incredible vacation homes. But if you know them, you can hop along and enjoy your vacation homes as well on occasion.
You are spot on in comments about inherited wealth. I have F* You $$ between 6-7M.
I have mixed feelings of gratitude, relief, joy, and guilt. In an unusual circumstance, I didn’t have expectations of this windfall so therefore no entitlement either. Have had it for a few years now and still not fully acclimated. Trying to share as much as possible, make the $ work for me, and strike a balance between embracing the opportunities as well as being a responsible steward.
Is the guilt coming from you inheriting a lot of the $6-7M? It’s not clear. If so, how much of the $6-7 million was inherited?
Easiest way to feel less guilty about inherited wealth is to give a lot of it away! It always feels good to help others in need.
it all comes down to your position as well.
if you become a multibillionaire CEO of a multitrillionaire corporation, you can’t just tell people to fuck off regardless of how much you long to do it!
at that point in life, you will become even more vulnerable! you have to constantly worry about your ratings, approval rates, the Board’s opinion, public opinion, PR, even the news and media!
one wrong word is enough to pull you all the way down to the bottom rock!
I’ve much enjoyed your articles and agree with a lot of your reasoning and investing strategies.
I’m 65 and retired with a NW of about $3.3M. After taking a bath in 2000 I pivoted to primarily going with rentals outside of California where I live. The Paradise Camp Fire took my home but spared the industrial building I own where I ran my business. Wasn’t originally from the area so didn’t rebuild and invested $650K in five Private Funds that I’m pleased with, and another $200K in five Angel “opportunities” that I wished I hadn’t, especially now that I’ve read your enlightening article. I got back into the stock market at the bottom of March 2020, but have sold most off now as I’d rather preserve my NW, even if a chunk is in cash.
My dilemma is wanting to stay in California but no longer have the cash or income to purchase a home near the coast where I’d prefer to live. Right now my investments bring in about $90K plus another $22K in SS.
Since the fire I’ve been living in a trailer at my industrial building, and I did purchase a mobile home in an older community in Sonoma to help my parents as needed. I’ll soon vacate my industrial building which I can then rent or sell for about $450K. My claim with PGE may be worth upwards of $800K, but it’s been 3 years and nothing yet.
I never married, have no kids or debt, so I’m pretty satisfied with my NW. More is always nice, but I’m primarily concerned with preserving my wealth now and am fine with returns in the mid single digits. Come on PGE!!!
$5M NW still seems like the right number for us, but we do spend ~$150k/year so our expenses are above average for sure.
I think the other way to look at it is forever home with no mortgage, kids’ 529 accounts funded in full, plus ~$3M in an index fund portfolio. That’s ~$10k/month budget with no mortgage payment. Cost of living doesn’t vary too much from place to place once housing costs are out of the picture.
Born in the 80’s. We lived off my moms salary and invested dads. When my parents passed away my sister and I split 12 million and chose to keep our parents house for the sauna gym pool and 4+ acres of land the house sits on. Privately educated from one of America’s best Universities. I work in finance but get treated like dirt. Like sub human garbage. With that yeah, I might flaunt my fortune if anyone threatens me on my way out the door. I’m not them. I’m not part of that rabble.
Not bad being privately educated at a great college and growing up rich.
We’ve all got to pay our dues starting off. And if you don’t like they way you are treated, speak up or try and find a new job ASAP.
Related: Confessions Of A Spoiled Rich Kid
Man makes the money, money does not make the man. Be honest it’s all about where you are raised. Whether you got tied down to your home state like myself got caught up in a business helping people instead of worrying about yourself. I make good money but help to many people in my business for some reason just my nature. Get kicked down over and over which just fuels my flame which every human needs to learn that and many do not.
When the going gets tough the tough get going!
I hope to make enough money in my next ten years at 37 I think I can do it. As everyone tells me “ oh your still a baby!!…..” soooo on that not keep on trucking humans those of you young with money awesome cherish make the right decisions because if you lose it your going to feel like an actor once there washed up and I know that’s mentally a major difficulty.
But when you have nothing and you make something then have nothing then make more your training yourself to be the best human to tolerate life mentally and that’s something money will never buy! Peace to all, not sure how I got here lol I was reading about koenigsegg regera and I’m here lol.
Good blog bro and the F U money stuff you don’t tell any human to fuck off that shows you respect and is just a great human. Having that mind set is just disrespectful, and makes you a bad human.
We are all human and it just takes one guy to blow his cool, right mind set, a gun or whatever his weapon of choice maybe and it’s all over money is nothing, skills are everything and if anything catastrophic ever occurred on our planet skills will be what brings us back not money. Any who how much do you produce from blogging? How many figures?
I make enough from this blog not to feel guilty ordering fries with my $1 cheeseburger at McDonald’s. The freedom feels so good!
Good luck over the next 10 years.
I often think of the phrase “speak softly and carry a big stick.” FU money is your big stick. With it in hand, you can afford to talk softly, confident that at any point you can indeed tell anyone to F off, even if you don’t actually do it.
It also reminds me of martial arts. Most get into it to learn to defend themselves in a dangerous scenario, to be ready to fight. But after spending time in the martial arts and learning the skills, most would rather not use them and the increase in confidence means they are much less likely to be a target anyway.
Hmm, if FU Money was a martial art, would it be FU-fu?
LOL very clever !
Hi, thanks for sharing this great article! The only problem I have is with the calculation: $10million can generate $200k-300k annually… That’s about 2-3% annually?? That’s in my eyes ridiculously low! Then you must invest in one of the most terrible mutual funds out there.. With $10million I generate annually about $1m to $5m annually.. I buy and hold the ETF TQQQ forever, providing 55% in the last 12 years, with my strategy I follow TQQQ with a trailing stop loss at 10% (25% of cap), 15% (25% of cap), and 20% (50% of cap). After a bear market, I buy from the bottom up with pyramiding, even doubling my cap fast..
The risk-free rate of return is about 2.5% today. Once you have $10 million, you will want to protect your $10 million and not invest as aggressively.
Most people I know are $10 million spread out their investments and try to shoot for middle single-digit returns. Once you have a lot of wealth, the last thing you want to do is lose it.
Too many people I know have only invested through a bull market. But bear markers do happen from time to time. If you lose 30% of your $10 million, you’ll be kicking yourself, as many did in 2000 and 2008.
bull markets last longer than bear markets. they also return far more than bear markets lose. these are facts. so if you make 100% over the length of a bull market and then lose 30% in a bear market, who cares because youre still up 70%. oh no, i had $10mm, lost 30% and now im down to my last $7mm, how will i ever survive. and the market. always. comes. back. people with $300k cant afford to lose 30% but people with $10mm definitely can. with more money you can afford to take more risk. if elon musk lost 30%, he’s down to his last $77billion. noones kicking themself at that point.
It looks good on paper, absolutely.
In reality, imagine living through your LIFE SAVINGS going from $2M to <$500k in a few weeks, as is what would have happened to you just last year.
It’s one thing to say you’ll never sell so it’s fine, it’s another thing to emotionally live through it – especially when you do have a substantial amount of money invested – decades of your hard earned savings. Day after day the news gets worse and you don’t know where the bottom will be or how long you’ll be there. You know if the market doesn’t recover, returning to the labor market will mean you’re now qualified for McDonalds or the Walmart greeter…
Even with the knowledge it’ll be OK in the end and ice water in your veins, it’s very, very hard to just sit there and not sell.
If not mistaken TQQQ is 50% off their highs and pays no dividend so where are the returns emanating from?
My FU money goal is $10k, which is enough to quit my job anytime I want, and have enough to live on for 3-6+ months.
My early retirement goal is $500k, which is enough to swap to part-time work, or change careers.
My long-term retirement goal is $1M, which is more than enough to last me a lifetime.
I am 40 yrs old, and have about $310k, so I’m making great progress! :)
Sounds good to me Jane! Keep on hustling and sooner or later you will get there!
I gotta give it to you, coining the term F You money is a good step forward. I like Personal Capital, I might look into it. Thanks a lot for the informative post, one day we’d get there! :D
I already tell people who are immoral or piss me off to fuck off now and I’m not worth even a million.
It’s not about $$$. It’s about inner peace and doing what’s hard, not easy.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be financially secure, and what’s more, this may not even matter given what we are doing to harm the planet as well as our own species.
Look at Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia. He’s worth millions today, and he told big Corp and the government to fuck off when he was a broke blacksmith. He lives by a code, not $$$.
5M as FU money? This is a riches’ club…
For those who think less than one million is even close enough to retire (never mind FU money)…. do you not have kids? That is no where near enough
See: Why $5 Million Is Barely Enough To Retire Early With A Family
I think my FU target is $800k. That’s enough to buy a house and a car and cover essentials for the rest of my life, and I could do occasional gig work for pocket money, but would still be able to turn down work.
Your question talks about people I *hate*.
Well, if I have FU money and they know it, I feel that mere fact is enough to frustrate them. Especially when they try to engage me and I don’t respond.
Also, why would I waste my breath and lower myself to their level? When you write things on the internet, it’s also permanent, so why risk looking silly years later?
Now if it’s about standing up for what’s right, yes, by all means, and I’d use some of that FU money to make sure I do it as effectively as possible.
I hear others preaching the “get along,” which convinces me that they haven’t found the personal power to stand on their convictions. FU is the conviction to call it as you see it, and stop filtering your vision down to palatable pap for the conditioned masses. When you live in that confidence, your FU is not angry, just tenacious and single-minded. I am living my FU without significant cash of my own to back it up, but then I am resourceful and creative enough to find my way on grants and collaborations with others. I can see, though, how people shackled to an employer for their basic needs can look to the fantasy of financial freedom as their potential game-changer.
I think $1M (taxes accounted for) would cover fixed expensess for my next four decades or my total expenses for the next two decades. I would hope that that would free me up enough sanity and/or time to do something worthwhile instead of mindlessly punching a clock every week with the fear of an unexpected change outside my control (economy, medical emergency, human error at my job…) leaving me to live out of my car.
Gassho Samuri! I read once that we can never really have too much of what we do not really want. At 62, although frugal and comfortable with decent savings and investments, I don’t have FU money and I practice everyday relearning not to care. In truth, none of us ever do or ever will. Since money is just a kind of placeholder of our personal and cultural values, it is temporally bound and ephemeral at best. Although it certainly does help when the bills come, it doesn’t ultimately provide the things we want most (freedom, autonomy, love, connection, community, peace, joy, purpose, adventure, creative fire, meaning). Since the entities that create and control money and other “valuable” things constantly change, and since human organizations (governments, countries, cultures) are by nature unstable and disappear, any store of value will be unstable and disappear. Hence, we can never really have too much of what we do not really want (FU money), because we know inherently that it isn’t REAL and not what we DO want (freedom, autonomy, love, meaning, etc.). It takes enormous personal effort to actually discover what you truly want from this short existence, and no one will applaud you for your efforts (or pay you) since it goes against everything human culture dictates. Your wonderful little muffin will be just fine, but even more so if you spend less effort on the side hustles trying to ensure a future you have no control over, and invest more in enjoying the best thing that you’ve ever done (hint: the muffin). You won’t be wishing for another cool mil or super side-hustle when your final timer goes off, but you might just be dreaming about the twinkle in that baby’s eye remembering how you shared yourself and your world with them.
I checked other because I long ago decided the peope that needed being told to F off were usually the last people to understand why they needed to be told. My guide is Musashi “Do nothing that is of no use.” Instead, I would just spend my energy getting away from them.
I am 20 months from my and my wife retirement. I have no reason to tell people to F off simply because I am sure that at some point during my 45 year career, I have made the same mistakes that at times make me mad when others do them. Some people live for confrontations. So I avoid them and move on. Others wish to gossip and backstab. I stand there and pretend to listen, then walk away and find someone with a smile on their face to talk to, blowing off the last conversation completely. As I finish out my career, I have taken a step down from the corporate ladder. I now do what I enjoy at work because I work for people who know I am very good at it and they appreciate the dedication to getting it right the first time. I listed $2M as my FU need. I will have more than this when I leave, so I can go at anytime now and not worry about the future. My guess is that since I lowered my stress, I also lowered my need to prove anything to anyone.
Samurai – Have you hit your FU number?
Yes, years ago and have watched my behavior and other people’s behavior who’ve hit their FU number evolve, hence this post.
But I’ve recently raised my FU number by 50% since we had a baby. Gotta keep hustling, at least for the fun of it!
I was initially surprised at 1,2,4 which is about standing up, caring less, and hanging out. While I’m not from a rich background (both parents fall under poor category growing up in most countries definition of poor) I never felt that I should not stand up for whats right because it is not inconvenient, care so much about what people think (I may a bit more apathetic than a normal person tho…) or hang out with people for insincere or un-genuine reasons.
It is my belief that it was this trait that I managed to be come a branch manager. It was not an easy ride with colleagues however. But I can understand the lure of doing such things but if you are more sincere with yourself, people will notice and you will gain favor from wise good people. These people will go the distance with you and sometimes for you. The others are just temporary goodwill which will suddenly go to someone else better at flirting/impressing/outspending you.
For reference, my parents are both still working at ~60 yrs and their income just exceeds the US poverty line for 2 adults with no dependents. Same for myself. Strictly middle income people in an asian country. I’m in a position of no3 where I can afford some small failures and yes, people piss me off less because I don’t have to talk to customers or supplies I don’t want to anymore. Yay!
I think my FU is retiring. I laugh at all the jerk offs who made fun of me in grade school because my parents drove a rusted out 1979 Chevy Malibu station wagon with a bumper tied on to it, because my parents did’t want to pay to have it put on the right way. Do I feel like they can all go just f themselves? Absolutely. Do I take their insults personally? Yup, check.
However, some of these fools are slaves to the man, and unlike myself, they will be slaves to their possessions long after I am just chillin’.
I chose other because I intend to become invisible once I get to my financial goal. No need to tell anybody anything if they’re not around.
According to your survey results I have “F” You Money. It allows me to be myself and get around the annoying PC world. Being your self is the greatest success. I am second generation $$$ and my parents were high consumption. Second generation think differently than the nuvo “F” You $$$. Before I was retired at work (I spoke my mind), I used to tell people there, success to me was not having a fancy car or ostentatious crap. Success to me was to tell the world to “kiss my grits.” 99% of my coworkers were and still are “wage slaves.” They never figured out that money follows capital and not wages. They parade around to try to impress others and regularly get bent over backwards by those above them. The book “The Millionaire Next Door” is me. House paid off years ago, use one check to buy a new car (a Ford!). I just finished teaching a productivity class at a community college as a low wage adjunct. I did it because teaching at a college was on my bucket list. After the first of the year I go to the next line on my bucket list. Did I tell you I stayed in Kyoto, Japan last April and toured with a Japan Rail Pass about everywhere cool?
Hi Tim, may I ask how you developed your wealth? Thanks
I hate to say this, but I think you’re correct – wealthier people are easier to hang around with, are less angry and bitter about the world and tend to rub along with things in a more relaxed way. Clearly there are individual exceptions to this, but money makes life a bit easier to live with. I wish it wasn’t true, but I’m speaking from my experience of the people I’ve met in social situations and work. I really wish that the “working classes” were the happy, rough diamonds of legend and that the idle rich were unhappy, unfulfilled and depressed despite their money. I wish things were more equal, and hopefully that’s what society is working toward, but it seems to me the rich know damn well that life’s a lot nicer with money in the bank and that they’re going to quietly fight to keep their wealth for themselves.
True story. I was just thinking about this very thing the other day while sitting on the toilet at work. Sam I am not sure if I would be comfortable even with ten million dollars nowadays to say that I am set for life. There is always that nagging feeling that something unexpected and terrible can happen so you always end up wanting more just in case. a
Also when you actually reach a certain landmark , you always want to achieve more than that. I remember while in school thinking that if I make A grand a year I will be set and not worry about money anymore and try to enjoy my life, here I am making well above six figures and still worrying about money.Does this mean I am greedy? I used to think that 100 grand a year would give me the mindset of peace, but that has not happened. Therefore I am doibtful of $10 mil getting me there as well.
F you money… Now that’s what I’m talking about. I was at work when someone described what this was to me for the first time, I could not stop laughing and have been using it ever since.
I would disagree with how you describe point 1:
1) You stand up for what’s right more often.
I’ve actually ran into situations where, had I had the FU money, I would probably have stood up for something I thought was really wrong. But I chose to shut up (for example because otherwise it would get me fired).
I often realize, later on, that raising my voice at that given moment would not have helped anyone, and could have made the situation worse.
There are many times, at work, where what I think is an extremely unfair situation, turns out to be something where I did not know the entire story. With FU money, I’d be at risk of putting people into bad situations… so in a way I’m glad I shut up some times, even if it’s for the wrong reason, it turns out to lead to a better outcome.
Good article. One question, you said most people turn left politically once they reach FU money. Is that true?, what happened to the Republicans being the party of the rich?
Just look up the net worth a of the richest people in Congress. It skews left.
The idea is, once you have lots of money and your tax shelters to boot, you can be much more liberal with money.
Except that doesn’t bear out in charitable giving. People on the right give much more than people on the left. People on the left are however, certainly more charitable with government money:)
There is a simple rule about having “enough” that works well for us. We both retired when we felt we had “enough.” For me, that was age 60, for my wife age 62.
I had enjoyed enough of work, the traveling, the daily grind. My wife was involved in an IT project that wound up shortly after her 62nd birthday, and she felt that was a good time to say ‘bye.’
We live in a rural midwest area where a nice home doesn’t cost a million. We enjoy the 4 seasons, and for us a million seems like more than enough for our life style. Your mileage may vary.
Financial freedom is simply being able to take charge of your TIME, the only commodity you can not purchase, can not trade, though you can use it productively, or idle it away. Freedom of choice is yours when you do not HAVE to do something. You may chose to do nothing.
As for having FU money, it is not license in my opinion to tell others FU, though I do have that option, I use it sparingly. We are more generous in our giving to friends, charities, and family because we simply can be!
See, this is where I want to be at!
Interesting subject, one that has impacted me directly the last few years (since no longer needing to work, or maintain work/client/colleague relationships).
My consulting job, and client assignments, ensured plenty of opportunities for insults, criticisms, and disrespect to be thrown my way. In the ’90s, I had a number of epiphanies about how to handle these unconstructive interactions, and in a nutshell the philosophy I tried to adopt was “A pebble lies still at the bottom of the stream, worn smooth by the troubled waters passing by.” As years went by, and I approached FI/RE, it became much easier to absorb hostile and unproductive people and their actions.
Of course I have memories of what I think are/were injustices, and I have indulged in burning a few bridges. It is very satisfying. But the way you tell someone “F U” is important; someone who has wronged you intentionally already doesn’t care about your opinion of them, and they have decided that wronging you is worth whatever hard feelings you may have towards them. They aren’t afraid of any consequences. “Never show your enemy your face.” – Bobby Collins Actually it was Lao Tzu, but I first heard it from the very funny Bobby Collins. His point was that people you hold grudges against are wildcards, and you never know what action (or inaction) they may take against you. So don’t reveal yourself or intentions.
The best and most satisfying actions I have taken in the past few years is to let people know indirectly that my life worked out, I retired early and acquired the means to do so myself, and that I have left all the sturm-und-drang behind. Old schoolmates, teammates, work colleagues, neighbors, etc. They probably don’t care that much, if at all, but it does feel good to inform them that I made it out of the lobster-cage while they are still trapped.:-)
The one thing that has also become clear with the perspective of time, is that quite a few people were positive influences, generous with their time and knowledge, and supportive and constructive. I’ve made a point to reach back and thank a number of these people, too (i.e. teachers, friends, workmates, bosses, etc.). And the figurative “F U!” feels good, but so does the “Thanks!”
Wise words as always! Thanks!
One of the joys in getting FU money (and I am not there) is you can also be a lot more generous. It is easier to leave a 30% tip when you are not as worried about your own budget. But I find that the older I get and the more I make, the more generous I am – and not just in terms of charitable giving, but in giving more in tips, tipping people you might not otherwise tip, buying goods from young people who are hustling that you may not otherwise need.
For me F you money, is 0 to 5 years after the first time my networth consistently grows by more than 250k in a year. Its far less than 10 mil. You have already reached my F you moment which is nice.
I already have a don’t care attitude but once I have financial freedom, I won’t have to put up with lazy people or roll over!
My spine can show itself!
Great post. I don’t have FU money, but I certainly like to envision it. i think the comments about having “No” money might be more accurate. Having the ability to focus on what you want, when you want, is priceless.
I’m 57 and getting close to the level the readers cite as FU money and I agree that’s about the right amount, at least based on my situation (done w/ college tuition, car paid off etc). And I agree it gives you more options and willingness to try new things (new career) than ever, and also once I move to 2nd career, it will give me more time to give back, I have a growing list of local organizations I’d like to spend time helping with my time as well as $.
Great article, exactly taps into my recent thinking about how much is the right amount of $ to start that 2nd career. only concern is affordable health care
I think having the FU money will makes things easier and you can say “No” more often, since you don’t need any more money. But I don’t think having a large pile of cash will actually make me any happier than I am now, at least it won’t increase happiness for long. I am having an equally happy/fun life now that I am raking in the big bucks as I was when I was a dirt port college student. Granted, it is a lot easier now that I don’t have to worry about paying bills, so life will be easier with all that FU money.
Money is not a big key part in happiness for me. The big things are family, friends, and growth that bring lasting happiness to me. Making more money feels good, but only because I am growing more to earn more. It feels good to master something and earn money for it, but if I am earning money doing the same exact task for years that feels fucking terrible!
Spending quality time with loved ones, maintaining a healthy body, and mastery/creation are what drive long term happiness. That said, I will keep shooting to earn more money/invest more until I can make all of my decisions as if money did not exist–read that “until I have enough FU money”.
I am not quite yet there to $5M, but getting close. Probably have the same output as a full $5M with my rentals.
Once you have it, you see there is no benefit to being mean to anyone. The same people you met on the way up are the ones you meet on the way down…
Given that I’m nearing 40, only make $100k/yr, and only have about $240k saved/invested (including about $190k+ in retirement accounts), and a $250k house . . . I am never going to have enough to feel comfortable and retire. Not $5m. Not $3m. At least, not in my life time. The only thing I’m really counting on is that I’ll probably die pretty young (40s or 50s?), so it won’t matter.
You sound pretty down about your situation, nerp. Are you ok? Your numbers don’t seem all that hopeless to me. With some good budgeting and maybe some side hustles, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t hit your goal.
$100k per year is a shitload of money if you only have a $250k house. You should be able to up your savings to $50k per year no problem! How are your other life expenses? I’m sure you could really cut down on some frivolous spending and crank up the saving for your FU nest egg. Frugality is a nice triple win for people with decent incomes already (i.e. $100k per year).
1. You spend less and it enables you to save more.
2. You don’t have to save as much, since your spending is lower, and now you don’t have to work as long.
3. You will discover that making and spending money won’t lead to happiness. Money makes life easier, but since you already make $100k+, I don’t think that is the problem. Try to focus on what really matters to you. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not cable TV, driving a Mercedes, and $50 bottles of wine. It’s all about family, friends, and personal growth (mastering a craft or hobby or creating something!). None of that needs to costs any money (or much money).
I think Sam has an interesting post, but once you have FU money doesn’t mean you are going to be much happier. People adapt extremely quickly to a windfall or a big loss. Lotto winners are excited for a time and then return to how happy they were before the ‘big win’. Amputees will morn the loss, but generally return to their happiness before.
Overall, I am in a similar situation and feel exactly that way sometimes, especially when others talk about needing 3, 5 or 10 million dollars to retire. I have adjusted my spending to save well over 50% of my gross, and over a couple of years that alone has changed my outlook. I am also a realist about how much I need to live per year in retirement, demonstrated by how little
I live on (~25%, the rest goes to taxes)while saving that much. Looking at things through that lens makes me see that I could get by for a long time on 25% of my current income. Meaning I don’t need $10 million, I only need between $800K-$1M, to give that kind of return.
I also don’t need a new car every year, flashy clothes, dinners out, expensive canned vacations, and keeping up with whatever is the gadget-du-jour that my neighbor says I shouldn’t live without.
But I do need my family. And as a close second, all of these FI and personal finance websites.
Thanks for that!
I used to think of my FU fund as FU money, but as I’ve matured a bit and actually acquired FU money, I tend to think of it more as ‘NO’ money. Meaning, I feel far more comfortable saying ‘no’ to clients, people, and businesses. Will you take on this new project with a difficult client? No. Will you accept our halfway decent offer? No. Will you settle for our standard terms and conditions? No. Will you accept the same level of service as our average customer? No. Etc…
Jamin, I think you are exactly right. “NO” Money! The power to say “no” is amazing. You do what you want to do or what you think is right, and that’s it. I like it.
Exactly what I was looking for as a different way of saying ‘FU money’, although the latter does give a little more satisfaction.
Yeah, there’s no way I’d tell others to F-off, no matter how much I had or how free I was. I just don’t see how it helps me live a better life.
Living well is the best revenge anyway right?
Well, to me having enough to say “F You” is different from being Financially Independent. It’s having enough of an emergency fund to be able to wait for the right job or quit a current job if I’m not treated right. But it doesn’t have to mean that I would never work again.
That’s why I call my Emergency Fund my “F You Fund”.
It’s not in my nature to get that annoyed by people so I don’t have visions of saying FU to anyone. But to me, having FU money means I say no to things I don’t want to do. I don’t get involved in work politics and I don’t fear losing my job. Ironically this attitude has allowed me to hold on to a job when I was on the chopping block. I had little concern for the outcome and just kept at it to the best of my ability, which my employer found refreshing.
I think once you’ve experienced personal success, you realize that life is short and it’s best to keep only positive feelings in your life. Saying F U to someone might feel good in the short term but what does it accomplish in the long term? Nothing. And it makes you a certain type of person.
I voted other.
From what I have seen around me, whether or not you will tell people to f*ck off depends more on your personality/moral than your financial position. With social media people ‘f*ck on’ so many different things during the day despite the probable lack of a 10m financial cushion.
Life does not wait for you. I try to live my life and have learned to spend my time wisely with people who I want to spend it with, no matter what economic status I may be in. In Business, Time can equal money. In your personal life, time can represent anything you wish. If you need to think about money in such a way as in your article, is this the best expression of how you want to be viewed and remembered?
What a fun post and oh so true! I think money can help people become less insecure and more giving. There will still be some people who remain a**holes, but I think they’d be the outliers.
I couldn’t agree more with your comment on aggressive drivers and people who don’t look after their dogs. I am 110% a cat person and can’t stand barking dogs. I’m pretty chill otherwise. :)
The reason most people want to get to an FU money level isn’t necessarily because they want to tell people to f off – it is more to get out of the situation you are in. I believe that most people are inherently good, but situations in their lives put them in a place that might make you want to tell them off. If you aren’t someone who would disrespect someone before you had money, I would hope that the money wouldn’t lead you to begin. Everyone has their reasons for being the way they are and you don’t always know the whole story. Don’t be an ass just because someone was to you.
I personally do not feel that having lots of money will make it easier to forgive people who have wronged you in the past because that has more to do with how you handle your emotions and feelings towards that person and less with the amount of assets you have. I’ve seen poor folks who are down on their luck look at the positive side of things and forgive people who have wronged them, and I’ve seen rich people hole a grudge for years. The line you wrote about money not making people mean is absolutely true and I think Warren Buffet said the same thing but in a different light – that money does not change people and if you are a poor A-hole, even with a million bucks in your pocket, you will still be an A-hole.
Hey there Sam!
Loved the article. Read it because of a reference about it in Flipboard. I gotta say, for the record, I HATE IT when people are perpetually late. Once or twice, no big deal. MOST OF THE TIME?!? Not gonna deal with it. Actually, one of my friends is perpetually late and every time we meet somewhere I tell him to meet me there 30min early so he’ll be on time. Sometimes he’s still late!!! In those cases I don’t wait up for him. Some people see this as cold but I see it as disrespect. If he told me he HATES it when I do ____ I’d make sure to never do that again because he’s my friend and I care what he thinks.
Anyways, I chose $2M because at modest interest rates I’m earning around $60,000. That isn’t a terribly good amount, but it’s a lot to earn passively. I like your website. I’m actually building a blog about the path to wealth. I won’t post it here because that’d be unfair. Hopefully one day you’ll read about it :)
Thanks again for the awesome info! Keep doing what you’re doing!
Welcome from Flipboard! That platform has picked up a lot of posts before. You’re welcome to link your blog in the URL section of the comments.
First, I must say that the picture to this article made me crack up when I opened the article. I just keep thinking about how many times the president has wanted to do that throughout his tenure. Politics are a whole different topic though, so I’ll leave it at that.
You list is great about the benefits of F U money. Isn’t it kind of scary/sad how much wanting financial security when you don’t have it impacts our decisions? The point that hit home to me was that you are more likely to speak up when money doesn’t matter because you care less. To me, that’s how the mindset should be all the time and that’s probably what is best and needed for most businesses. However, if you are afraid of the negative precautions, financially or professionally, then you are much more willing to bite your tongue. If anything, this article has just inspired me to turn on “F IT” mode at work and start being more assertive about my opinions at work. What’s the worst that happens, they fire me and I have to find a new job? I could always follow you lead and really pump some time and sweat capital into our website.
Have a great Sunday. Thanks for taking the time to write this funny/inspiring post!
Interesting post, Sam. I was surprised to read point #5, that people don’t piss you off as much anymore. I’m sure you’re right, that you just stop hanging out with the people who annoy you, although I wonder if there’s even less tolerance for the stupid B.S. that you can’t avoid, like people texting and driving, etc. If you have a nicer house, nicer car, etc., do you think there’s less tolerance for other people doing stupid things that could injure you or your possessions, since you worked so hard for them? Or less tolerance for politicians who want to legislate away some of your freedom, because how dare they think they can make decisions for you better than you can, since your success is further proof of your competence?
Well (4) and (5) are spot on. I was talking to my girlfriend about that last night. I said that the only people I want to be around now are those who I need something from (a mentor, business contact, etc…) or someone who is a down to earth, genuine person who likes you and is interested in being an actual friend. It’s certainly a two way street. The person has to actually like you and you have to like that person.
I don’t necessarily think you need money to follow the golden rule…but it helps I suppose. It’s a good way to think – trying to understand where these miserable people come from. It certainly doesn’t make you want to be around them, but it’s obvious that they are the ones with the problem.
By the way, why are people so obsessed with dogs? I’ve had to deal with them everywhere I go and I’m trying to find a way to be considerate but assertive in telling them to F Off. Short of living in the middle of nowhere, there’s no escaping it. If you can’t take care of your dog, you don’t need one. And I’d say most people who own dogs have no business having one.
do you own a dog?
I don’t have F You money yet, but I’m getting pretty close. One thing I’ve noticed with my journey is that each time I make a progressive leap the things that bother me, and the problems I have to deal with change. Sometimes it’s because the actual people I’m dealing with change, and sometimes because the things that used to bother me now seem petty.
Hello, I am currently on my path to FI. I choose not to tell people F Off now due to understanding that each person has their own challenges and reasons why they behave in a certain manner. I choose to take a deep breath and move on to greener pastures, asap. I find that time and karma take care of everything without my outburst.
I voted other, because I already tell others to F off regularly-although minus the profanity.
I was a military officer, and it really stripped me of the intimidation factor of other people. It’s not even about what happens when you’re deployed; when you’ve been yelled out by professional ass chewers who could whoop your behind, prepared or delivered briefs for Generals/members of Congress, and been a mentor/responsible for people who by age should be your peers, it hardens you against the random people who try and intimidate you.
Really helps with the in laws :)
Once I reach $10M, I would not have the heart to say FU to anyone that’s wronged me in the past. I happen to believe that life happens for me (not too me), so all those people who “wronged me” in the past were merely just motivation steps along the journey.
I would say FU to our lack of financial education in the US and start a school focused on educating kids about money in real life while they’re still young teens.
I’d also say FU to hunger and feed as many people as I could both home and abroad.
I don’t think more money will make a person better, but it can certainly magnify his/her intentions (good or bad).
You tell them Michael!
Ditto. I agree with everything you just stated. Nothing gets me heated more than the lack of financial education in America. Just a few days ago I had two people tell me they don’t know much about finances! And these are people in professional fields.
The whole reason I started a blog was to talk about finances in one place. Make it easier for people to connect with me and get some much needed answers. Instead of me talking to each individual, I could now talk to the masses. I truly hope it helps people.
And like this post says, FU Money makes all the craziness you have to go through in life a whole lot easier. Insults roll off you like water off a duck’s back. Having FU money makes you feel more in control, confident, and powerful. I feel that everyone is in some sort of battle and there is no need to try to hurt people, I just move on.
Hope to see you in FINCON again next year Michael! Keep Financially Alerting people!