The Key To Living Longer: Fear Being Alone Far More Than Going Broke

The key to living longer: fear being alone

Living longer is what we all want. Let's discuss how!

I've always told my wife that if all goes to hell, at least we'll still have each other. After all, we met during college when neither of us had any money. We were happy just spending time together between classes in the Sunken Gardens at The College of William & Mary. Having to start over with nothing wouldn't be so bad.

I'm convinced part of the reason why some couples choose to have so many children despite the cost, the stress, and the time commitment is because they too, fear being alone one day. Having nobody visit you in the hospital when sick is depressing. Having to play children's games at a nursing home is no way to live out your remaining years.

For me, being alone is far scarier than going broke. When you lose someone, there's no guarantee you'll ever be able to find someone as good. But if you lose all your money, there's a good chance you'll recover through some ingenuity and hustle. 

The Risk Of Social Isolation And Not Living Longer

I truly believe the key to living longer is having someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to. Having close personal relationships and a strong community to interact with are the top findings why certain communities have longer lifespans than others. Check out the chart from Susan Pinker's TED Talk.

How to live longer
Living to 100 and beyond. Click to watch the Ted talk

I'm thankful for all the detailed comments left on Financial Samurai, even the unpleasant ones, because they share windows into different people's souls and promotes new topics of discussion.

Here's a comment left by JD on my uncontroversial post entitled, Things Worth Spending Max Money On For A Better Life that is incredibly insightful about why some people are alone. If you read the post, you know it simply provides suggestions, not commandments, on where you might want to pay a premium to live a better life.

Why not just put anything down? Couldn’t disagree more. With this advice you’d go from frugal to broke in no time at all. You could justify buying anything and everything.

Mattress at the top? My mother was conned into buying a pricey new one by her brother. When you’re old and in pain the bed you’re lying upon in immaterial. I’ve tried it from time to time. It’s okay but not worth $1,000+ but when I’m tired I can sleep anywhere on anything. The people pushing beds are making killings on TV because people are foolish to believe their hype.

Home Appliances & Home Theater systems are Scams. They’re built cheaply designed to break down–All of em! The more money you pump into them doesn’t guarantee quality or quality or longevity anymore. A crap movie is still a crap movie regardless of how big the screen or high the resolution. Maybe you’d like to push Kueric coffee machines too. Fear and Status sell. Means nothing.

Dental Care is overrated and relies upon Fear to sell. A magical sonic toothbrush? Really? They pay you a few bucks to hype this? Just basic brushing, a minimum of once a day is all that’s needed. Even flossing has been proven to be excessive if not dangerous.

Work clothes & shoes – Hint: if you’re Retired (i.e. Not Working!) it matters not!
Especially if you’re not a socialite and enjoy doing things by yourself.

Food – Some of us Enjoy the Simple pleasures of Simple food. I’m surprised you’re not hyping caviar here as well! Junk food is only bad for you if you thrive on it excessively and make meals of it. For some of us it’s what makes life worth living.

Car Safety is another one of those things relying on Fear to scare people into shelling out money. Once upon a time frugal sites said the same thing. All cars made today are basically safe but it is the Drivers behind the wheels one must watch out for. You’re safer driving a stripped-down basic car than one loaded with electronics so you drive while watching a DVD and yelling on a phone while studying a schematic of your car!

Such detailed intentional objection. I figured there must be more to JD's story so I asked him to share more about himself, and he did.

I’m frugal, and the real deal. I’m financially independent with a high net worth. I’m also not a hypocrite. The simple things in life are free and once you get used to them, luxury living is rather petty and obviously to impress the masses. Furthermore, everything I’ve typed up there is true and I can back each and every statement up.

I’m not negative, I’m real and honest. I’ve also debated people to death and I don’t intend to waste my time doing so online again. Everyone lives in their own realities with their own priorities, petty as they may be. It’s why my personal relationships have never worked out. My own preferences have been exotic and queer to most people at times. I’ve turned down steaks for Big Macs, for instance. Because they taste better to me.

If you want me to reiterate a few. Planned Obsolescence pretty much wipes out the need to buy “the biggest, best, most popular, and coolest” of appliances (in conjunction with the “bathtub” curve regarding breakdowns). A $300 refrigerator will last as long, if not longer than a $3,000 one with a ridiculous touch-screen and wi-fi system, and certainly require less maintenance and make life.  Easier for you. Oh, sorry, no bragging rights with an Ordinary refrig.

That’s what it’s all about: Status; impressing the guy next door. Maybe you need such recognition, but I do not. The bottom line is that I saved $2,700 which is more money in the bank making interest. Plus, I’m not pulling my hair out over a touch screen that’s malfunctioning and a unit that needs software updates etc. I could extend this analogy to include all manner of modern “smart” tech which makes live miserable in the long-run, including fancy thermostats which need their batteries replaced constantly and maybe even recalibration. All for Look At Me I’m Better Than You gratification, and a cumulative drop in wallet dough. If you’re secure in Yourself you care not about appearances to project upon others. You are indeed Comfortable and truly at peace. I’ve splurged in the past and I almost invariably feel guilty afterwards. Because the outcome simply was never worth it. Maybe I just need a shrink.

Frankly, I’ve found this website a disappointment. Your early articles were generally good, but you’ve changed over the years. Perhaps this wife of yours has had an influence on your psyche. It’s why I’m not married. If you want real financial know-how, checkout Bell’s Living Stingy blog. Not 100% in agreement of course but I do tend to agree mostly with his lifestyle (minus the BMWs and his sometimes quirky politics).

Although JD said a lot of unflattering things about me and this site, it's good he followed up with details about his beliefs. Here are some of my observations:

1) There may be some self-esteem issues because he thinks having a nice TV, refrigerator, bath tub and wi-fi system is for showing off to your neighbors instead of for the owner's personal satisfaction. I'm not sure how our neighbors will ever know about our nice equipment unless we invite them over to a bath tub or online gaming party.

2) Guilt for spending money despite having a high net worth. Many of us have this problem because part of the reason why we got to a high net worth is by being frugal. Old habits are hard to quit.

3) JD is alone. By comparing things with others, bringing up my wife, his shrink, and his failed relationships, it seems he either enjoys being alone or desperately wants to find someone.

How Not To Be Alone

If you want to live longer and happier, then it's probably beneficial to find someone to go through life with according to the research. To be loved and accepted is all we can ever ask. Although there is no guarantee of finding someone, we can at least improve our odds by doing some of the following:

1) Ask whether you'd be happy hanging out with yourself for hours. Pretend you're stuck for five hours at an airport due to a computer system malfunction. Would you enjoy your company? Or would you not be able to stand yourself? The airport test is one of the key determinants every applicant must pass when applying for a job that demands rigorous work hours and plenty of travel.

2) Find ways to look at the positive. JD decided to look at my post as an offense to his frugality. Even though my post wasn't forced upon him or cost him anything to read, he got triggered by my suggestions. Meanwhile, most other people decided to see the positives of the post and share some of the things they value the most. The more you can see the good in things, the more people will start seeing the good in you.

3) Turn on your grateful switch. Whenever I sprain my ankle, I'm thankful I didn't break my ankle. Whenever my wife is feeling tired after a long night, she is thankful she has a son to be tired for. In the very simplest terms, if we can be grateful for just being alive, our world will change for the better.

4) Smile. Nobody can resist a big toothy smile. Strangers will automatically smile back at you for no reason. A smile is like a powerful magnet that draws people to you. The next time you're zooming down fresh powder, dancing to your favorite tune, or riding a jet ski, notice how sore your cheek muscles get after the session is over. It's because you've been smiling nonstop without anybody noticing. The more you can smile, the happier and healthier you will feel.

5) Focus on solutions. Problem solvers don't just accept a bad scenario, they find a way to go around the wall. There is no greater turn-off than the person who complains why life isn't fair and then sits on their ass all day. The water cooler gossipers at work invariably are the first ones fired. One of the reasons why blogs have taken off is because journalists only report the news, while bloggers not only share the news but also offer actionable steps. When you can build some credibility by consistently doing what you say, attracting others is an inevitability.

6) Take care of your mental and physical health. Nobody will love you if you can't love yourself. Loving yourself starts with taking care of your mental and physical well-being. You don't have to look like a swimsuit model or have the mind of the Dalai Lama, you just have to consistently work at reaching your healthiest potential. Stay active. Keep an open mind. Read voraciously. Practice what you've learned. Forgive yourself and others.

7) The more people you meet, the higher your chances. Meeting someone you can connect with is a numbers game. Sharing a common interest is the easiest catalyst to start a meaningful relationship. I have one friend who is always on a date despite not being particularly attractive. He's not afraid to ask every person he meets for their contact information because he's not afraid of rejection.

8) Stay hygienic. For the love of God, shower, wash your face, brush your teeth, and floss no matter what JD says about not buying a Sonicare tooth brush! If you smell and are dirty, nobody will want to come close to you, let alone kiss you. Ask your friend(s) if you smell, because some people do and have no idea. Let your natural pheromones attract other people in ways that only science can explain.

9) Develop emotional intelligence. If you're clueless, it's dangerous because you may not know you're clueless. This is also called the Dunning-Krueger effect. An emotionally intelligent person understands another person's viewpoint and works to socialize in a manner that's agreeable. An example of an emotionally unintelligent person is one who asks things like, “can I pick your brain” without first developing a relationship or providing something of value. Communication skills are key to a high EI.

10) Be generous and kind. Showing generosity and kindness is one thing if you have everything. Showing generosity and kindness when you have nothing is next level humanity. A woman by the name of Kate McClure raised over $360,000 for a homeless man through a GoFundMe campaign after she ran out of gas on an interstate in Philadelphia. Johnny Bobbitt Jr., walked a few blocks and bought her some with his last $20 and asked for nothing in return. Johnny has a second chance in life after drugs and alcohol derailed his plans.

We Are Programmed For Companionship

Having a lot of money is pointless if you have nobody to share it with. During my days in finance, I met plenty of wealthy, but lonely folks who had let their desire for wealth consume them. Every single one of them regretted working so much in their 20s and 30s, and not working more at finding someone they could come home to.

There's no denying that luck plays a role in finding a companion – be it a spouse or a best friend. But I'm certain we can all do more to increase our chances at finding someone if that's what we want.

Relationships are hard to maintain because we tend to take each other for granted. Marriage is constantly a work in progress. But I say it is better to have loved than to never have loved at all.

The Average Net Worth For The Above Average Couple

Marrying Your Equal Is Better Than Marrying Rich

Financial Dependence Is The Worst: Why Each Spouse Needs Their Own Bank Account

The One Ingredient Necessary For Achieving Financial Independence

Readers, why do you think some people remain alone? What are some other ways to improve our chances of finding the one? You can read more of JD's comments on love and life in the post, The Best Financial Move I Made Is Something Everyone Can Do. They are fascinating to me because they are the opposite of my beliefs. 

98 thoughts on “The Key To Living Longer: Fear Being Alone Far More Than Going Broke”

  1. I think some folks end up alone because they don’t value others. It’s sad. We are definitely social creatures and with a little love and flexibility, we can have companionship and smiles to give and receive.

  2. Oh, Andrew! (That could be a song title. It worked for “Oh, Neil!”).
    I like the way you’ve flipped things around into me being some sort of evil monster out to hurt people from the poor to the sick to the helpless to the disabled… Maybe you didn’t read what I’ve been typing or you ASSumed?
    There’s that old saying of giving feeding someone fish Or teaching that person TO fish. That’s the point I was trying to get across. Giving homeless people money to buy drugs and booze isn’t going to help them. Giving third world people who haven’t any food Bibles isn’t going to help Them. My brain is perhaps wired differently than yours as I was raised to be a troubleshooter so I tackle things from different angles and perspectives. First, you take care of yourself so you can take care of others. “Others” can be Society Itself as opposed to a few homeless folks hanging around. You do this by developing a lifestyle of Efficiency as opposed to Waste. (To avoid being wordy and making this thousands of words long, read my other messages I’ve typed around here.)
    I care about the environment and the future.
    Consumerism is about Selfishness which is about Waste, and by that I mean destruction to the environment and resources. All of this is tied up in America being officially a Narcissist Nation in 2018.

    And now for the record, just to make it perfectly clear where I’m coming from, my Will (a work-in-progress if there ever was one) will give most, if not all, of my money to charity when I croak. And also for the record my mother was a closet Socialist and believed in helping less fortunate people throughout life. In fact you could say she gave away Too Much of her money to them while she was alive. Too much of a bleeding heart Liberal, people also took advantage of her when she was young. I surrendered my career to serve as her caregiver (All Alone) for her remaining years; the most painful experiences of my life. Alzheimer’s and Cancer are not pleasant, with the former making caring Difficult to say the least. I was literally carrying her, screaming and uncooperative, from her bed to the toilet to the kitchen and back again. Washing her, cleaning up after her, cooking for her… Giving her a bath had her screaming for the police. Then other things started happening in my life like a bed bug infestation, getting her fiances in order and so forth. I tried bringing someone in to help…and things began disappearing from the house, like family heirlooms…things lost forever…Reinforcing my lovely appreciation for People. During her final year I asked 10 people to help me in simple ways, well within their means, including 3 of my extended family who did not live that distant. All 10 people–10 out of 10–failed me. Because they were lazy, incompetant, or simply didn’t give a shit about me. They had Laughable Excuses. Can’t write a simple obituary for her? “I need my laptop to do that!” They couldn’t Honor my mother’s final Simple requests which she frequently stated and restated before the sickness took hold. Their Friend had higher priority. That was just the tip of this nightmare situation for me. I typed it up in my little private journals which includes such things as being accused of Abusing my own mother by a doctor since she had fallen down and bruised herself! I had to drag my relatives in for phone interviews to convince Dr. KnowItAll that my mother would have been Dead without me there. Only then would they discharge her from the hospital to my care. Again. In and out of the hospital. Doctors who refuse to do house calls, even one who lived 2 minutes away within walking distance and charged me $50 just for a consultation. On and on like this. It’s over now. And another part of me is dead over a year later.

    “The amount of selfishness and greed you have is sad” says Andy.

    I drive a 20 year old dented 4 door Altima around and live in what could be called a white shack by my neighbors. Selfishness and Greed? Indeed.
    You should chat with my neighbors who throw out perfectly good Everything because they Need the latest and greatest versions and styles. Their world is about consumption and they think they’re Entitled and better than everyone else.

    So maybe you should just pray for my death, Andy.
    In fact from my understanding most people will not only benefit from it they’ll celebrate it and be very happy the Evil Atheist is burning in hell with his devil-worshiping, baby-killing, church-burning co-conspirators.

    But to get back to the Topic. Ah, the Risks of Social Isolation.
    Well, some of us Need It because we’ve Had it with people.
    Oh, it’s so Easy to just stick a label on someone–brand someone–and walk away. Without knowing the facts. Or supplying your own “facts” to fill-in the blanks. Nice and simple that way, and you win in the end.

  3. I have been following your blog for the last several years and want to thank you for all the insightful posts , financial or otherwise ; keep up the great work!

  4. Agreed, and that is why so doing many social activities is so important, especially if not working. One of the thing great about work is you have colleagues to socialize

  5. Oh, Andrew… All things are relative in life. I have no idea how old you are but I would guess you’re a bit younger than me. You haven’t lived. I started out life as an Optimist. In the 70s I used to think that Star Trek, Space: 1999, 2001: A Space Odyssey…could all Really Happen in my lifetime. That by the year 2000 we’d have a moonbase, world peace, Science would replace Religion, and we’d have a nicely united Earth. But then Reality intruded on my life and I found myself bullied, picked on, and generally put down. In short order I became a Realist, especially after taking in Unpleasant sides of things, since everything has multiple facets (unless you want to live with tunnel vision and reject all things negative and Pretend that all things are Great). As I got older and read prolifically and studied our world and species, I became a Pessimist. Because the human species wasn’t so much progressing as going backwards. I found out America was all about Making Money off of people–Profit over People–at the exclusion of all else. Having studied world religions, in particular the older ones that are never discussed anymore, I became an Atheist. I also realized inevitably that the Majority is often Wrong and deluded. People want to be surrounded by like-minded people and Want to live in their own super-pleasant fantasy worlds in an escape from harsh reality. The world is full of users and abusers, and ignorant people. That’s Statistics for you. It’s as solid as Gravity. Maybe you don’t like gravity. Maybe you think you can jump off of a building and fly. Maybe for a moment you Will fly–but a moment later Reality will kick in and Gravity is there for you. Splat! Yeah, when I was younger, I Wanted to believe in Santa Claus, in God, in Prayer, in Magic, in Telepathy, in Psychic Powers. But I’ve long since grown up because I don’t want to live in a fantasy world–no matter how many others Do. I need to face Reality head-on, not live a fake life and certainly not put up a facade of being someone I’m not. I’m a very kind person otherwise I wouldn’t be typing This. I’d instead be smiling and agreeing with what the Majority had to say and believe in. Perhaps our definition of “kind” is different. No matter. Just as “antagonistic” and “unstable” have different meanings in your worldview.
    I would guess that your definition of “helping people” would be to spend-spend-spend to fulfill your own inner instant gratification needs. I Can’t because I think fourth-dimensionally: about that older guy down the road; my future self. I don’t waste money, I keep it in reserve because sooner or later my health will require it. But to help other people? If I understand you, that would be to give a drug user more of the same drug until he or she dies from it. The “drug” in this case is bad advice, delusion, slander, whatever you want to call it. BUT you’ll be Accepted by the Majority and, of course, the drug user. That’s what really counts in your worldview. And you know what, you’re certainly not alone.
    You probably never will be alone. Consider yourself lucky and proud for that.
    I could write a book on “friends” but I’ve done enough typing here alone.

    Have a Nice Day!

    Oh, and if it makes you Feel better I’ll give you a dose of what I’ve gotten at different times throughout life: “I’ll Pray For You!”
    And just to be Evil (since I don’t want to disappoint You): Maybe if we all get together and Pray hard enough, 17 dead people will be resurrected by the power of our Lord! (Oh, that’s really low and dirty, JD!)


    1. It’s actually shocking you can’t think about examples of helping the poor, helping the sick, helping children who don’t have homes, open the wounded, hoping the disabled, as examples of how to help other people with your time and wealth. Instead, use the example of consumption?

      The amount of selfishness and greed you have is sad. But everything is rational and if it makes you happy to be angry, selfish, and alone, then that is great. Enjoy!

      1. Andrew, I thought the same, that JD is wholly fixated on money just as he accused the “sheeples” and “drug users” to be fixated on money. He can’t think of helping others in any other terms than money. Can’t think of any other way of helping other than finances. In this regard, he is the same sheeple he condemns.

        While hoarding money for healthcare in old age is great. But money isn’t the only thing we may need in old age. If we weren’t so fixated on money, there are other currencies like trust (which I think is worth more than money), friendship and love that are valuable. In the short term, generating trust/friendship/etc may require spending money, but its an investment IME, with compounding gains.

        When I socialize with people, I may have to spend some money, but I am establishing credibility and trust. One day I may be in dire straits, health/finance or otherwise, that sometimes money won’t be enough. I may have all the money but my mind may not be there altogether. I may need to enlist someone I love and trust to make decisions for me when I can’t.

        But it seems JD measures everything by its monetary value alone and if it is love or prayer it has no value. Then maybe hoarding cash until death is the way to go for him.

  6. I’m quite comfortable being who and what I am. I’ve had to be.
    One problem I have is quite simply with Discrimination. That’s based on Ignorance.
    People don’t know me and they love to ASSume.
    They fear, hate, and condemn what they don’t know–from a distance.
    Maybe this is why I sound “antagonistic” to some, hmm? (In conjunction with bullying and other things.)
    Again, simply because I refuse to play the one-upmanship narcissist game of my elitist neighbors does not mean that I’m a poor, lazy, piece-of-crap bum–just simply a guy who rejects Their Lifestyle.
    (That in turn is based on my being an environmentalist and how I despise Waste in all forms. I believe I’ve typed about this before somewhere. Waste of everything: fuel, water, resources. I like sustainability and I think about The Future. Internal locust of control, remember: Causality. Narcissists do nothing but waste. I could type up a hundred specific examples here, too, but I won’t. To reiterate and simplify: I’m a saver not a spender. Our system vilifies the former and praises the latter; that’s why it’s Not sustainable.)
    They ASSume that I’m beneath them because I’m not like them and certainly don’t strive to be like them; when in reality I don’t want to participate in their Game.
    They don’t know this and they never will. Likewise I think it’s at least likely in some instances that my netoworth is Higher than some of my neighbors who are burning up everything for the sake of apperances.
    For the sake of being a Part Of The Crowd; because they need to be Accepted by their peers.
    I don’t want to sound like a broken record but, again, America in 2018 is officially a Narcissist Nation.
    You Are Perceived as a Great Person if you live in a mansion, drive an Expensive Luxury Car, dress in the finest of name-brand clothing… I want no part of this superficial nonsense. They don’t understand. All they understand is Image over Substance.
    Conversely, they believe, if you Don’t have this lifestyle it’s because you Can’t: you’re an Inferior AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH. Once ignorance is unleashed there’s a tidal wave of fear and hatred. And follow-the-leader conformity. Simple example: Tell me: you’re sourrounded by McMansion neighbors who think little of you and demonstrate this by littering on your property. How would you feel?
    No, pretend I didn’t type that. Just ASSume that JD’s a miserable person because that’s what people of his type are and how he types. If one says it, others will agree. Yuo want to be accepted here and there, you go with the flow: the sheeple factor. You’re now a part of the crowd. Secure. That’s ignorance–until you have More data to draw upon and start asking questions…

    So all and all, can you really blame me for being a loner and an introvert?
    As for living longer and happier. That’s a good question. I think I’ll do it by simply staying away from irrational people and living better than them by being true to myself and Real.

    1. The problem with you is that you are simply unpleasant to be around. Just read your writing. You are antagonistic and unstable.

      As a person who is rich and “the real deal,” are you doing anything to help other people? Or are you just mad at everyone and plan to hoard your cash until you die?

      Find a friend JD. He’ll be good for you. But first, try to be kind instead of an ass.

  7. Cal @ FI Me Outta Here

    Am I the only one who sees merits to both sides?

    I don’t think either opinion is per say wrong – just different choice of how to live life.

    1. We’re not debating whether being super frugal or spending on things you want. It’s just an example. The main point of the article is on social interaction and living longer and happier.

      Now I wonder how many other people are distracted by the example, despite the title and the 10 points I make about making friends.

  8. I am a bit late to the party but I see JD as just rejecting what he perceives as the superficial materialism in our society and its preference toward extrovert behavior.
    This view reminds me of Diogenes and the Greek cynics.
    Lots of people and communities in history had similar viewpoints. Not everyone is meant to hustle or be a socialite. Some people are happiest reading, writing, and being quiet in nature.

    However, it seems that JD is a bit antagonistic which makes me think he lives in conflict with himself. Perhaps he is not fully convinced that he wants to be alone.

    There is nothing wrong with talking to a counselor. It may just be social anxiety where hes trying to convince himself he wants to be alone or he may really prefer solitude. Or he may want to find a small rural community to share with other people with similar beliefs. There are so many options today, no reason why people shouldnt live in a way that makes them at peace.

  9. Done by Forty

    You’re absolutely right, Sam: we’re wired to be in relationships. Not necessarily a relationship like marriage: plenty of single people are happy. But we are better off with a network of friends, colleagues, and family.

    I do happen to agree with one of JD’s points: we humans are also hardwired to seek status. Esteem is right there on Maslow’s heirarchy of needs, and pretty high up there, too. Consumer purchases can be practical, provide individual enjoyment, and also be a signal to others of your class/status, all at the same time. So I agree with that one point of JD’s: that for a lot of consumer purchases, how we think the car/clothing/jewelry/appliance/etc will make us look to others is a pretty significant factor.

    1. That’s where I don’t agree. I buy things primarily due to functionality, quality, and output. I couldn’t give a damn about what other people think about what car I drive, my clothes, what type of fridge I have etc at this age. If I did, I wouldn’t have driven a Honda Fit for 3 years and where just jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt almost everyday.

      My entire list of things worth spending max money on for a better life is for themselves e.g. mattress, tooth brush etc.

  10. “JD is alone. By comparing things with others, bringing up my wife, his shrink, and his failed relationships, it seems he either enjoys being alone or desperately wants to find someone.”

    Somebody grab a body bag; JD’s done.

    And so that I add some more value: In the longest study that [Harvard has ever done](, they found that close relationships are the #1 predictor for living a long, happy life. It’s kind of sad, really, if you chase money to the extent that you cut off opportunities for great relationships. When I reviewed my finances, I actually made a point to spend MORE on going out with my friends. What’s the point of having money if you don’t splurge every once in a while? I know that one day I’m going to be rich (comparatively speaking, and maybe not compared to YOU), but I don’t know if my friends are going to be around. Although I’m not as strict as I used to be with my saving, I’m definitely happier. And isn’t that the true goal, anyway?

    1. It’s also silly that people are getting angry over this. It’s the internet, people. Don’t act like you want to reread more advice on the importance of maxing out your 401k. A little drama is healthy.

      I also just noticed your site doesn’t use Markdown. How do I hyperlink?

    2. Not so. Read The Longevity Project. Followed 1400 approx. people and the greatest predictor in this group is passion or purpose. People who work the hardest at their passion live the longest and are the healthiest. Balance is not it. Relationships are not it. At least according to that study. It makes a lot of sense to me.

  11. I don’t have a blog (and I’ve noticed there is another JD on here). Never had, never will. Oh, I was tempted at times. When I was young I was even tempted to run my own BBS. But it all seemed rather self-centered and, dare I say it, narcissistic. I won’t want to be a guru. I don’t want readers/Followers. I don’t want to create a Cult! This is also one reason why I moved away from computers, and in particular social media, following the 1980s (and my C= 64 BBS obsession days). Why I also didn’t get a phone (smart or otherwise), in conjunction with the microwave plague we now face. If you think I’m a nut for that latter reference, consider statistics of cancer and Alzheimers (my mother’s murderers). As well as the decaying environment in general. All the trees on my property–and in my town–are slowly dying. Slowly. They used to grow straight and tall; now they grow crooked, warped, and are leaning over. Ever since the propagation of microwave towers in town. If something doesn’t kill you overnight it’s probably good for you, so they say. And you people Can’t Live Without your precious wireless tech. Go ahead and call me a kook. Remember what I’ve typed 20 years from now.

    I’m a very private person and what you’re reading here is probably my biggest opening up in a great many years. You see I’ve learned that people don’t listen to me. Really Listen. When they do they condemn me. People want to believe what they want to believe. Period. If some negative thought enters their sphere of influence it’s annihilated and the messenger is killed. Were the folks of decades ago more open-minded or was I just more naive back then? Everyone is on the offensive these days and fights break out. If things escalate, the one with the biggest mouth (and most friends, and influence and seniority and…) Wins. I tend to be something of a loser so I’ve learned to simply shut up and mind my own business. As for what you typed, Bill, there’s this thing called Constructive Criticism. “Always Question Your Decisions (and those of others).” – One of the principles I live by. Probably why I’m so screwed up inside, since the Real World isn’t usually Black or White but one big grey area… Perhaps I should just bury the past, but my past is my Experiences and I’m the sum total of my experiences which is what I’ve learned from. Paradoxes. Where do you draw the line? Eh, shutup, JD!

    I have issues with people in general. Particularly today’s people who are not getting any smarter. There’s celebrity worship today and no appreciation for inventors, discoverers, or explorers. They’re My heroes. Not some one-trick pony who’s paid millions to play with balls (hit them, catch them, throw them, dribble them). I prefer intelligent people if I have to have them (is that why I’m Here?).
    Case in point about people: yesterday’s tragedy in Florida. When I say that the 2nd Amendment should be abolished–that it has no place in 21st America and applied to another time and weapons undreamt of back then–I’m put down by NRA gun nuts. And they’re all about Money. Perhaps people who embrace it should be celebrated as heroes for being true patriots who appreciate the Constitution (And Capitalism!)!
    What scares me is that in another reality, decades back, that nut could have been me Had I been more…unhinged. Was He bullied to death–or just an asshole? I took my bullying; soldiered it through, knowing I’d graduate in x years–only to end up in a job to receive another form of bullying.
    Can you blame me for being non-social? The squirrels are right: run away from humans! They make for better companions. I think I’ll live longer being alone. Maybe I should take to the trees next…

    Emotional Intelligence: nice handle! A combination of mental health disorders? Could be. All I can do is state the facts: I’ve never hurt anyone in my life (at least not intentionally). I’m a peaceful, live-and-let-live pacifist guy. I mind my own business and do my own thing. I’m overall considering a too-good-to-be-true individual: I don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t take drugs, don’t text (or carry a phone!), and recently have given up sugar, sex, and soda. I don’t curse. I don’t even get speeding tickets, as I obey the rules of the road.
    I’ve never taken a selfy in my life either, if that matters.
    And I don’t own a gun; the only gun I’ve ever discharged was a BB gun many decades ago.
    I grew up with an internal locust of control not an external one. I take responsibility for my own actions and am very good at blaming myself (when others aren’t doing it For me!). I do, in fact, have a fear of addition/dependence: from drugs to phones and all things in-between.
    All in all a very boring, dull person with introverted interests in science and science fiction. A geek. A reader. No interest in sports even! Wow! And physically I don’t even look like a freak, aside from my dated clothing. More crummy than freaky I guess. All things are relative and subjective, including opinions. But to close this and satisfy your curiosity, here’s a little thread:
    An old hobby of mine from long ago, done as a free service.

    OK, I’m going off-track here. None of this is finance-related. But FS did dredge this up. Let’s not turn this into a self-help site. I’m not here to stir up trouble but to get a little more insight into finances. Like safe places where to put this money or where to spend it since spending is such a craze.
    It won’t be on an Oral-B toothbrush!

    1. Emotional Intelligence

      James I’m glad you got my handle. I have read Fandom_Star_Trek_Chronology and I am most impressed. I encourage you to start up your hobby again because I really enjoyed it. I want you to know that even though I feel scared, I am not really in danger. I also know you don’t think anything is wrong but it would really give me peace of mind if you saw a doctor. Will you go to make me feel better? If everything checks out, all these people on this website should stop bugging you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      1. I think it’s an insult you think he is mentally disturbed, and not simply just a frugal and intelligent person who doesn’t like the company of others.

        Are you sure you’re not projecting your own mental instability on him?

        Why don’t you share something about yourself instead. Instead of psychoanalyzing him.

    2. JD,

      If nothing else, I want to thank you for pointing me toward the “Living Stingy” blog. Bell has very strong opinions and is blunt, but I wish more of his aphorisms were widely known (Ex: NEVER co-sign a loan). I emphasize the “I” in FI as the freedom money can give you is the best part – the ability to say “no” with few or no consequences. Individuals doing their own thing are always viewed as “cranky,” but it’s usually someone who forces you to confront your own biases (if you’re honest, anyway). Thanks again.

  12. It’s all good buddies. I like both JD and Sam’s perspective, as they are very similar and yet very different in many ways. We are where we are in life and the degree to which we engage in deep and meaningful relationships is different for everyone. Our society places too much importance on romantic relationships and that’s why so many couple are unhappy. Most marry because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do and settle for sad and desperate people. Happiness has very little to do with your romantic partner. It’s all about the deepest part of your soul, your level of inner balance, your ability to connect with everyone and nature, and how much you appreciate life. Master these things FIRST and then the right partners, friends, lovers, opportunities will appear. Peace and love my friends.

  13. Hmm, this post struck me because I have almost the same opinions as JD. And I paused to evaluate myself.

    I’m frugal to the point where I’ve been called cheap, stingy and miserly. I don’t have many friends; I can count all on one hand and still have fingers remaining.

    I too believe the problem in this world is people. There’s too many of them, they’re groomed to be shallow consumers, think like sheeple and breed like mosquitoes.

    But I feel my approach to life is opposite to his, more optimistic, more fun. I smile most of the time because I’m happy, not all the time (certainly not most of the time at work), but enough! I’m angry I’m not FIRE and try not to blame my younger, idiot self. I do console myself that it will eventually happen to me as a result of financial planning I have in place (couldn’t happen soon enough though!).

    I’m single but not lonely and absolutely enjoy all time alone.

    Am I afraid to grow old alone? No, except maybe towards the end when I’ll need help. I’m concerned that the help will abuse me.

    Am I bitter because I’ve never had a long term relationship? Nope. It just didn’t work out so c’est la vie!

    Have I been bullied, for being different, poor, looking different, etc. Yes!

    Do I resent the world for it? No and I don’t carry a special hate/grudge for people and I feel sorry for the sheeple, the ones stuck in the cycle of consumerism, in menial jobs they can’t stand.

    But then again, JD says he’s older and the time he was raised in, people were completely unyielding of anything against the norm and downright nasty. I’ve met a couple of them but I don’t understand why he refuses to let bygones be bygones and live his life emotionally and financially free.

    It may be because I still have dreams, of travelling the world, being a full time fiction writer, owning my time, living life as I want, etc.

    I am responsible for my happiness and comfort so I will follow my heart’s desires. I will spend two days looking for that mattress to get my much loved sleep. I will go to the dentist regularly because my teeth are my lifelong partners (I love food!). And I will occasionally spoil myself and buy a pink butterfly food tray to have my leisurely weekend breakfasts :D.

    I’m odd, quirky and free spirited (descriptors that have been used on me) and I carry that with me all the time. I am what I am. And I’ve found just being yourself, being comfortable in your own skin can change people and their attitudes and sometimes their entire outlook on life.

  14. Quite frankly EI, I find your comment to be the most demeaning of them all. Your playing directly into JD”s thesis that if your odd there’s something wrong with you. I”ve read all of JD”s comments on this thread and others and I find him to be intelligent, controversial, and hurt.

    It is never my intention to hurt or make fun of anyone. I only challenged JD because in my opinion he is perfectly capable of defending his opinion. Perhaps I’m wrong, and if so I apologize. I just like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

    Thanks, Bill

    1. Thanks for saying this, Bill. I agree.

      I actually relate more to JD than I do to Sam – although I respect Sam very much.

      I think JD is old school + hurt and Sam is new school + love.

      There is nothing wrong with being alone – I love it.

  15. What you have to learn, dear reader, is what an Introvert is. One who’s introversion was reinforced through lots of bullying. At school, at college, at jobs. Yes, I am a loner and I am victimized. They all work together very nicely self-reinforcing one another. People who dare to be themselves and Not follow the normative cues of society are the first ones to get crapped on. In the various hierarchies, it’s the butt-kissers who get ahead. Those who don’t line up; those who aren’t Intimidated by the big boss, They’re the first ones to be fired or otherwise taken down in insidious ways (slander comes to mind, with ignorance finishing the job, particularly in a crappy job with crappy dumbass people). I run away from Irrational People. Only 2 people I couldn’t run away from: one is dead now (my mother: she didn’t ask for Alzheimers) and the other my kooky cousin (extreme OCD among other things, fortunately I only see him a couple times a year, Briefly). Irrational people do irrational things. Their reasoning abilities are shot. Poor reasoning leads to poor decision-making. Would you trust your finances with someone who believes in magic and astrology? How about we play the stock market by Horoscopes, or better yet The Bible Code!
    My advice is to run away from these people.
    Frankly having lived longer than you, FS, I don’t like people because they tend to be wacky, unreliable, undependable, untrustworthy, and care only about themselves. Trust Issues, yes. Am I putting Everyone in this category? Certainly not. But Statistically most are. Being a non-conformist and a free-thinker, I am prejudged from a distance and condemned. Because of external appearances (no, I don’t look like a monster!) because I don’t go with the flow. People ASSume! Why not just come up to me, ask me to my face Why I do something this way rather than That? I’ll give you a direct answer. Don’t cower in the distance in groups and ASSume. Don’t say This guy’s ____ (gay, retarded, crippled psychotic…use your imagination for that blank!). Maybe, just maybe, my wrist is bent this way because of Carpal’s Tunnel Syndrome? Nah, that’s too convenient an answer! And it’s not fun. It’s fun to participate in character assassination, however. “You need a good shower, JD.” “I don’t take Showers.”
    This guy’s a Pig! He doesn’t Bathe! Let’s get rid of him. How about taking that next step and asking Why? Because I find Baths more relaxing; they take weight off my legs, and they’re more efficient in cleansing my entire body! I also live in an old house with very hard well water which not only calcifies shower nozzles, clogging them, but also yields very low water pressure which just dribbles out of a shower head. Ah, but that’s not Normal to take baths anymore, that’s bathing in your own sweat! Don’t you watch movies and TV? Everyone Showers Now! That’s a normative cue everyone follows. Sheeple are sheeple for doing this. They’re the same fools who buy bottled water because everyone else is, and the big corporations are making killings on these fools.
    A generation from now they’ll be like these phoneheads: “I can’t live without my bottled water! Tap water is Poison!” And you’ll believe it, too. Just like people fall for payday loans and Leasing. Everyone else Leases instead of Buys! Hey, everyone takes drugs, drinks, smokes–that’s Cool. Do that, too! That’s called Living! The Majority can’t be wrong! If I go against the Majority they won’t accept me!
    I didn’t become financially independent by buying bottled water but by saving my money. And my own local water hasn’t killed me! Wow! I dare to be different and I’m damned for it. Because people who don’t conform are the evil fallguys in our society. I’d rather be me, following my own logic, than become a part of the Accepted, non-thinking, programmed group mind. When you’re Burned by the non-thinking masses, you stay away from them. You don’t keep on trying. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” No! This is more like the Lottery and Statistics. You keep losing; you don’t double down and throw your life’s savings into those frigging tickets!
    OK, enough of my babbling. I had too much tea to drink this morning. On a good day with a good keyboard I type 100wpm. And my right hand and wrist is feeling good these days.

    Oral B, Sonicare–they’re just frigging toothbrushes! Recommendation: get a gold-plated toilet, your ass with feel So much better–better than your jaws!
    I also had 0 calories, Christine, using a cheapo toothbrush that cost under a buck. How? I quit sugar, or at least cut down radically. Sugar is the real hidden killer according to my research. It’s like the tobacco industry. It’s addictive and is the force behind inflammation and in turn diabetes, heart disease, cancer (an anaerobic fungus which Feeds on sugar!), and might be a trigger behind Alzheimer’s, among other things. Don’t worry about calories, worry about Sugar. The food industry has known of its addictive properties for decades and refined sugar should be classified as a Toxin. But what do I know? I say the same about microwave emission sources. I’m a Kook who deals with data and statistics. Stuff that’s Unpleasant to face but inescapable. I’d rather face reality than delude myself. It’s also why I’m an atheist. When that alone gets out it usually puts me #1 atop peoples $hitlists. Probably why I was fired from my last normal 9 to 5 job. You know, if you don’t believe in what the majority believes in you’re instantly classified as a horrible, evil person. Some people automatically call it being Negative. Such people also surround themselves by like-minded “yes men” to complete the echo chamber effect.
    Their views never change and they are never challenged. There’s at least one of these guys in the White House…

    At least Steveark loves me! Oh, to be Loved again! Just like a mouse-clicked “like” eh. My Final girlfriend loved me, too, in the real world. “Love” I think had to do more with that lump in my pants: my wallet. That was my last venture into socialization. I consider myself a very easy-going, open-minded guy in the Relationship category (as few and far between as they were in the past!). I’m open and I believe in compromising and discussing things. Unfortunately it’s often a one-way street. Women want too much and give too little. The red flags start cropping up and when she’s Unreliable it’s again best not to have a relationship.

    Another thing I want to get off my chest. Again you ASSume: I Don’t “measure my success” by how much I save! This isn’t a money-making game where the richest wins. It’s simply a way of life for me. “Success” is a meaningless word for me. I’m only saying that what I do works for me in the financial realm of surviving under Capitalism. Other people do it other ways of course.

    Bottom line: nobody agrees with me. I’m not forcing my lifestyle on anyone. That’s OK. My only real vice in life is the crap I eat, and I won’t be discussing that crap here. I will only say that it’s cheap, efficient fuel for the body. I’m a weirdo and I accept that. People fear, hate, and criticize weirdos because they’re Separate from the crowd. I think that’s a part of human nature, too. Where I live I’m surrounded by McMansion People who are gentrifying the neighborhood and everyone tries to be King. If you don’t play Their Game of narcissism, you get shot down. I’ve been branded Working Class Vermin for some time now. What they Don’t understand is that I Could play Their game but I refuse to participate and become one of Them. Image over Substance isn’t my way. Being a put-on isn’t my way. I’m not accepted for that. In fact it would please Them to no end to see me out, my 60 year old house condemned, bulldozed down, and replaced by a spanking-new McMansion and have One Of Their Own replace me. This alone speaks volumes about what 21st American value really Matter these days. And I’m sure they tell their kids that President Trump should be their role model.

    1. You write a 1000 words telling everyone how stupid we are and complain about being bullied. Kinda ironic don’t you think?

      1. Emotional Intelligence

        I do find it disturbing provoking someone who obviously has combination of mental health disorders.

    2. Hi JD,

      I followed your other comment and read the blog “Living Stingy” for a few hours. There is some great content there but there is also much there about having unhealthy relationships with family. Since I believe that our brains are wet computers and programmable, I chose to not follow that kind of thinking as cynicism can be a self fulfilling prophecy.

      Stay well,


  16. This post closely aligns with a book we are reading (in a growing Facebook group) called Younger Next Year. I’m writing chapter reviews of the book for people who just joined or who haven’t read the book yet and just got to the chapter about our limbic brain. Being functionally younger as you age involves exercise, eating right AND being part of the “pack” – and following “rules” of caring, connecting, and committing. One of the author’s (Dr. Harry Dodge) goes so far as saying that isolation kills. And the data backs it up. Your limbic brain matters as much as people might want to ignore it.

  17. Sam,

    Love to read your articles but unfortunately this one is cliche. Have you ever heard of “changing your environment, not your behavior to have more happiness”? Have you ever traveled to countries like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia or Mongolia? Have you ever lived in a foreign country other than America? I can tell you that once I left America and began living in a foreign country in Asia, I became a lot more happier. I was genuinely fearful about being alone, isolated, difficult to meet people, old age, not enough money etc. etc. when I was in America. Now none of these is bothering me that much. Most of my friends here are great people and don’t have children, but none of us feel insecure. As much as respect and admiration I have for America, my years of experience in America tells me Americans don’t live a happy life in general. There are many individuals out there who don’t have a 401K, who never look at the stock market but who are passionately doing social good and not programmed for companionship. Your fear of loneliness is very America-oriented in my opinion. I encourage you to spend time traveling aboard and even live in a developing country for a while. You will write even more amazing stuff.

    1. Hi Kath,

      I’m fortunate not to have to change my environment to increase my happiness because I’m currently happy. We are, however, considering moving to Honolulu within three years though to be closer to family. It is nice you’ve been able to find happiness leaving America for Asia. I have several online friends who escaped America to live in places like Vietnam and Thailand, where the cost of living and stress is lower. How long have you been there? And which Asian country?

      I think you might have the cultural nucleus of many Asian countries wrong. Some of the most notable differences between the East and the West revolve around the concepts of “individualism” and “collectivism”; whether you consider yourself to be independent and self-contained, or entwined and interconnected with the other people around you, valuing the group over the individual. The East is much more focused on collectivism, which connects into Social Integration and Close Relationships, the top two criteria for longer lives. In America and in Hawaii, look at the popularity of having multiple generations under one roof amongst Asian families.

      If you look at Blue Zone Regions, regions where there are more folks living past 100 than anywhere else, the focus is more on collectivism as well. (Sardinia, Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, California, Costa Rica’s isolated Nicoya Peninsula, Ikaria, an isolated Greek island.)

      You may be misinterpreting this article, focusing only on not having children, which is absolutely fine and an individual choice that no one should dictate on you. Instead, the focus on the article is about the benefits of social integration, which includes family, friends, partners, and children.

      Your feedback is welcome, as it gives me some ideas for future articles about my travels abroad. I was born in Manila, grew up in Lusaka, Kobe, Taipei, and Kuala Lumpur for 13 years, spent 6 months in China in college, then spent the next 13 years traveling all throughout Asia for work. Going back to KL several years ago for a childhood friend’s wedding and visiting Cambodia was great several years ago was great.

      Would you like me to write more specifically about my travels and abroad and the different perspectives between Asia and the US? I should run a poll to see what the interest level would be like. Also, any interest in me doing a podcast or a section of my articles in Mandarin? If I can tap the 1B+ Mandarin speaking internet population, I think that would be good.

      I would LOVE to read about your perspectives about your travels in Asia and all that you’ve learned so far. Please send them my way! Perhaps you’d like to do a guest post on why you left America and what you learned?

      In the meantime, here are some articles of mine that you and others might enjoy:

      * To Understand Capitalism, We Must First Understand Communist China (Chongqing trip)

      * A Weight Loss Tip To Die For (Agra/New Delhi trip)

      * How Europeans See Money Differently From Americans

      * I’ve Seen The Future And It Looks So Bright (Russia/Med trip)

      * The Digital Nomad Lifestyle Is Worth Living (Cambodia trip)

      * A View At The Edge Of The World: The DMZ, North Korea (A discussion of the war and some videos)

      I’ve tried to integrate personal finance and life lessons in each travel related article. But let me know if you think it’s better to focus more on the travel aspect e.g. 5 places to get the best tasting cheap eats in XYZ country etc. I wanted to build a more extensive Travel business, but we’d like our son to be at least 3 before we start traveling extensively again since it’ll be hard for him to remember his trips before then.

      Thanks for all the feedback! More the merrier!


      1. Wow Sam, I am very impressed! Looks like I was very wrong about you. I am currently in Shanghai and have been here for 10 years. I would love to respond more. We are in the mist of celebrating the Chinese Year and today is New Year’s Eve. Later. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

        1. 恭喜发财! 庆祝完以后请你给我一些意见和回答我的问题。我总是想进步。


          我第一次去上海是1997年。当时我爸爸还在广州工作. 我原来想毕业以后去大陆工作,但是我无法拒绝一个纽约投资银行的 工作机会,所以没有去。


    2. What is it you are running away from in the States? Running away to a foreign land to find companionship and happiness is cliché IMO.

      Check out Eat, Pray, Love.

      As a dad, having a baby to love and care for is unbelievably awesome. It’s a blessing.

      I’d love to read your writing about your travels.

  18. I respect JD for his opinion, but that lifestyle is not a good fit for most people. I’ve been married for 19 years and it’s been mostly great. It’s much better to go through life with a partner you can trust and confide in. Sure, there are some compromises. I’d rather live with those than going through life alone. I’ve spent 5 hours alone at airports a few times and I didn’t like it.

    We use Oral B toothbrushes and they are good. I used Sonicare once, but that was a long time ago. It wasn’t that great then. Maybe it’s better now.

  19. This is very disturbing, I love Sam, I love J.D. and have learned a lot from both of you. I am that kind of person that likes to build consensus and I can’t believe that there is that much difference between the two of you. Sam, you will never be alone because statistically your wife will outlive you by several years, being alone is going to be her problem, but studies show wives deal with it without a hitch, probably because husbands are way more trouble than they are worth. J.D. I can’t believe you are not more optimistic, man you have got it all going your way! I’m going to percieve this as one of those wrestling shout downs where it is all about inflaming the audience.

      1. I don’t mean to be rude but you really shouldn’t assume your son will be taking care of your widow’s emotional needs if you should predecease her. Assuming your relationship with him never hits the tiniest of snags, you don’t know even where he will be living when your wife is elderly. It could be on the other side of the country or the world. He could be heavily involved in putting his children through college. He could marry a woman who doesn’t care for you two.

        Don’t count on children for your needs when you’re elderly. Plan on taking care of yourself in every way. If you’re lucky you might get help from them.

        1. Indeed. In America, it’s hard to count on kids to take care of parents anymore.

          Have your kids abandoned you? Or are you a kid who plans to abandon their parents in need? If so, why do you think?

          There is, however, a very strong culture in Chinese and Indian communities where kids take care of their parents.

  20. Good article Sam, but I did get a laugh out of JDs reply (in a good way) he sounds like a disagreeable tough minded SOB but certainly speaks his mind, without any personnel attack on Sam. I don’t agree with him, although there is some truth in what he is saying regarding media programing and looking good, pretty extreme view point though.
    I’m convinced for the great majority of us finding the right partner and being prepared to put some effort in increase long term satisfaction.

  21. I am glad JD spoke up. Sometimes I assume that the FIRE community is filled with a happy young couple with 2 kids looking to retire early and travel the world.

    I empathize with JD. Although I finally took the plunge and got married recently, I do miss my alone time.

    There are many guys out there who have difficulty warming up to people. I am one of them. The times I tried to be generous and got my boss a gift after I came back from a trip was met with an awkward response. Perhaps I lack emotional intelligence, or I cannot navigate the intricacies of non verbal communication. Often i feel my good will is not reciprocated. I don’t have many close friends and I have difficulty making new ones despite putting myself out there meeting people.

    Over all though I like the subjects that FS touches on. Ultimately we want to utilize our hard earned financial advantage to improve our quality of life. For me it would be to free up more travel time to visit my parents overseas. Or somehow leverage it develop better relationships. Or more free time and energy for exercises and mediation and feel healthy.

    In JD’s case perhaps with his money he can hire a personal assistant. I do fear the idea of being sick when I get older and have no one to take me to the doctor :) It’s hard to exist in this world alone.

    Personally I value my relationship with people very much. I am glad I have a warm hearted beautiful wife. All the money saved doesn’t seem very meaningful if I don’t get to share my joy and freedom.

  22. Thanks for this post. I have not experienced loneliness in the way that you have mentioned, but I have personally seen that without taking care of yourself (happiness, which includes social interaction), money means nothing.

    I have recently gone through a tough time where I basically neglected myself to a point where nothing mattered for me.

    There’s a reason why studies say that money does not predict happiness. Money is not evil, but money is not enough to guarantee happiness.

    Always a pleasure to read your posts.

  23. Everybody has a different scorecard on what financial success (or life success or frugality) mean to them. I think some people get really, really obsessed with the numbers as a score card. JD on the one extreme, and the greedy or immature capitalist-worshippers on the other extreme.

    There is a reason why keeping ledger as a success tally works for many people: Countable, tangible, black/white.

    It’s difficult to evaluate the value of companionship, longevity, happiness in numbers. There is no yardstick to measure. The default (or lazy) way to measure success is in terms of how much one has. In JD’s case he measures his success on how much he can save, relative to the population. By acting “better” than the rest of us, he considers himself a success. I don’t see any problem with this until he starts gloating, accusing people of being afraid, unfairly accusing your wife of influencing your views. I think his way is a valid way to live. Many hermits and monks live in isolation. They practice celibacy, swore off all earthly pleasures and luxuries. But pride and ego are also earthly luxuries, that the monks abstain from.

    Al Ghazali, a Sufi philosopher spoke of a Sufi saint who said “Faith in God will be firmly established if three veils are cast aside:

    1. Feeling pleasure in possessing anything
    2. Lamenting over the loss of anything
    3. Enjoying self-praise”

    “veils” are earthly distractions by many religious ascetics, that prevent us from reaching our true/fullest potential.

    All of us who read/write personal finance blogs at some point struggle to cope with #1. Perhaps being alone is a way for JD to cope with #2. For others its having children or friends.

  24. Hi Sam,

    Your blog is a joy to read and I am working my way through them. I retired when I was 36 years old- about 13 years ago. And it was to stay home with my 2 children. Now that my youngest is heading off to university, I am finally happy to return to doing more of my career. I have a simple lifestyle. I have enjoyed many of the fancier things but find that I am genuinely happier with simplicity. I enjoy having financial freedom for options which I have already enjoyed.

    Happiness for myself definitely involves family and good friends. Hopefully everyone can find someone(s) who makes them want to aim higher and create a better future.

    Sam, your blog and podcast feels like having a reliable friend whom I can listen to when I am trying to figure out my finances. I wanted to thank you for that. May you stay creating for many years to come!

  25. Relationships are hard and I think some people who are alone have given up on making the continuous effort it takes to build and maintain relationships. Or perhaps they are too picky? One of my good friends is the sweetest women in the world and it makes me sad she’s still alone. She’s always been super picky when dating and maybe that’s why she hasn’t settled down, I dunno. Expecting to find a perfect person that checks every single box is going to be really difficult especially if you have a ton of boxes you want checked.

  26. I hope JD will reconsider. I got great results from my Sonicare toothbrush over the years. I highly recommend switching from manual brush.

    1. One of the theories I have as to why folks aren’t willing to spend up for dental care is because they believe teeth grow back. If teeth grow back, then why bother taking good care of your teeth and gums right?

      But I talked to my dentist, and she says that adult teeth never grow back. And most of her business comes from replacing teeth. Cavities are just her side hustle money.

  27. Ms. Conviviality

    Why do some people remain alone? There were four years in my late 20’s when I didn’t date at all because I didn’t think that anyone else out there could make me as happy as my previous love. The problem was that I had given up on love. My advice is to never give up hope on your dreams whether personal or professional because you’ll never know how good it could be unless you keep working towards making them a reality. Fortunately, I did find someone who makes me happier than I could have ever imagined. My husband is exemplary on point #4 about smiling. A good example was from this past weekend. Down in Dunedin, Florida, there is a monthly “Biking for Brews” event where around 100 people get together for some bar/brewery hopping via our bicycles. Being that this weekend was the Cupid Ride there were about 400 riders; lots of single people looking to find love! There are about a dozen craft breweries within a five mile stretch of a paved bicycle trail and these trails can get busy from locals getting in their weekend bike ride. As we were on the trail, our friend commented on how the culture in Florida is different than when he visited South Dakota because while going for a run on one of their trails, people always said “Hello” to him. My husband said we should change that so as we’re cycling along he gives everyone his biggest smile and starts belting out “Hello there folks” “Hi” “Good morning” along with waving to people relaxing in their backyards (lots of homes back up to the trail). Most of the people smiled back so it does go to show that people welcome friendliness.

  28. Hi Sam. I usually do appreciate your posts but this seems like a really unnessacery personal attack! There are many ways to write an article defending yourself without pointing fingers and making assumptions. JD, it seems like you may be in a bad place based on your comments and I do wish you the best and I enjoy your blog, too. In terms of frugality I tend to more agree with JD, and I definetely enjoy your frugal articles more, Sam, but its always interesting to read a differing perspective. Its great to understand people so different from myself. I don’t feel that there is an either/or choice between frugality and relationships, as JD implied in his comment about settling down. I am happliy married with 5 kids and we live pretty frugal by choice (a choice to retire a bit early hopefully, but also to leave a lighter footprint and forcing myself to enjoy the simple life). I have never read a blog or met a person I 100% agree with, but that is what keeps life interesting!

    1. There are no attacking words in my post, except for perhaps some unflattering assumptions about me in JD’s second comment. I’m OK with attacks and disagreements, so long as they are explained. That’s the fun of it. Discussions are great. And if you read JD’s latest comment on this post, I don’t think he was offended. Why do you think this post is an attack?

      Trust me, you will know when I am on the attack. It is quite a ferocious sight to see!

  29. I’ve been reading your blogs for a couple of years now and this is so far my favorite!

    I imagine I’m not alone among your followers in that I enjoy the quick read to glean some wisdom and insights to financial freedom from someone who seems to have done a good job getting there at an enviably younger age than most, through self efforts and not inheritance. I also appreciate you candidly sharing your journey, questions, solutions, etc. There have been many posts I’ve learned a lot from, and then some that I’ve chalked up to a simple difference in personal philosophies on what ultimately matters in life. But today’s post helped me gain a better insight and alignment with you as an individual and family man, which for me, reassures the perspective that I choose to abstract from your posts.

    I am a small business CEO with my husband as business and life partner. We met in grad school and have a wonderful marriage of over 22 years (and counting, God Willing) with two beautiful and complex daughters that make our lives more meaningful than I can explain. My husband is by nature not one to think much about money or plan financially, which leaves that burden on my shoulders. Over last 5 years however, I’ve improved my financial peace with help of a financial Advisor and self education through online blogs (like yours), as well as digging into my faith beliefs. In the end, while the financial reassurance and peace I’ve gained by deliberate efforts to add intentional planning in our lives, I can not compare it to the peace I feel when all is well with my relationship with my husband and kids and we experience the blissful state of balance from love by spending time together over even the simplest of meals or activities. Those moments, unremarkable as they may be, are profoundly satisfying, despite being able to afford much more. I come to believe that true luxury is to have time to be present, health of body and soul, shelter, and having a choice for food. Truly nothing else compares. It is the wealth of life that I was so happy to read you tap into today. You had me at your title. Blessings to you and your family.

    1. How can you achieve or hold onto feelings of love, or health of body and soul, if you have a partner who repeatedly makes choices that bring financial distress into your relationship? I want to agree with the sentiments of this post, but I’ve been in a situation where I’ve suffered from stress, pain and anxiety (sleepless nights, unable to concentrate at work, feelings of hopelessness) as a result of being with someone who has clashing values and priorities about money, and the result was a lack of trust, safety and then love. In as much as relationships can bring you the greatest joys in life, they can also cause you the greatest pains.

      1. Anon – I think you may be reading way too much into AJ’s post. She states that her husband “is by nature not one to think much about money or plan financially” which you’ve stretched to “a partner who repeatedly makes choices that bring financial distress into the relationship.” She says she has a wonderful marriage, and has financial peace. Sounds to me like she’s not suffering from the kinds of things you’ve suffered from in the past.

        1. True, my comment wasn’t specifically about AJ’s post, just the general sentiment out there that love conquers all, as I’m all for love, but I found that love didn’t do so well where there were clashing values.

      2. Anon, your choice* in partner is probably one of the most important financial decisions of your life. I’m sure there’s a FS post about this.
        *choice: may or may not be a ‘real’ choice because the heart wants what the heart wants.

        I have broken up with exes who do not share my goals for financial/retirement future. Best decision ever and probably up there in importance for me in ERE and wealth building.

  30. Very good article Sam. I respect that JD came back for a “rebuttal” though I disagree with most all he says.

  31. I know someone who has 4 daughters and 4 sons, all married with several children, thus his grandchildren. But I never see him spending time laughing and loving them and instead focuses on his writing and book publishing which he’s been doing for decades. It’s definitely a passion, but I wish I could ask him how happy he is with his life.

  32. I just want to commend you on this post. I’ve been reading your blog a long time and JD completely gets it all wrong about you. The changes I’ve seen in your posting are all completely admirable displays of personal growth. As a mom of 3, I know the change I’ve seen in you is your son. There is something about starting a family that grounds you and makes you appreciate life – it’s not all about you anymore and just accumulating wealth. It’s about experiences, sharing those experiences with others, love, companionship, acceptance and trying to remember to be grateful for every moment (it’s definitely challenging at times). I remember reading the 10% rule on automobiles and thought to myself “there’s no way he has children” (way before I knew you were married and a year or more before you contemplated having your child, I’m sure). Once you have a family, a child and/or someone to care for your perspective changes. Money is important, but it’s nothing compared to having it with the love of a partner and a family if one is so fortunate. I wake up every morning and do my best to demonstrate this to our children, to be a good role model, to be grateful, to show them the good in the world and share experiences with them that will shape who they will become. I’m very happy for you and your new family and I sure am enjoying the blog more now with your more balanced perspective. All the best!

    1. Thanks Jacklyn. Can you explain the connection between the 1/10the rule for car buying and having children?

      Life is such a journey. I’m always learning. I hope I can write forever. But I know one day I’ll stop.

      1. My thought are the 10% rule is just not practical for a family. Generally, I agree frugality on a depreciating asset is best, but not when you are putting your most valuable assets in it I think that’s a shortsighted decision. Biting the bullet and spending a little more on a car is worth it for a few reasons:

        1. Maintenance costs – new cars today are very reliable, you will have few maintenance issues on a new car in it’s first 5yrs then on a vehicle that was 10% of your income. In your example you site the median income of $42k, so if they only spend $4.2k on a car how much maintenance will that cost annually? Just out of curiosity I went on CarMax and the cheapest sedan I could find was a $5,998 2006 Buick LaCrosse. A 12yr old car will not have the same reliability as newer car and will likely be a maintenance money pit, in addition to a complete time suck on your life.
        2. Opportunity Cost – The opportunity cost you sited in your article was the missed investment opportunity. What about the opportunity cost of missing work? Too much missed work will lead to less advancement growth which would really cost someone in the long run.
        3. Stress – Have you ever dealt with the stress of a car that constantly breaks down? That’s stressful! Knowing you have kids to get to school, work, activities and you don’t have a vehicle or worse you have to rent a vehicle because you 1/10 vehicle is horribly reliable.
        4. Makes you want more – This seems more of your opinion. Just like – I have a nice car and I am completely content with it. I could care less about who has a fancier car rolling down the road.
        5. Makes you feel stupid. Again, I think this is an opinion. I don’t think the average person feels stupid spending money on a car (granted, not the smartest thing given the lack of financial security most Americans have, but I don’t think this factors in to their decision making)

        But above all the most important reason was for safety. My safety and the safety of my family. Traffic accidents are inevitable and at some point in your life you are highly likely to be involved in one. My family and I walking away is priceless. I commute 20 miles each way to work – I want to get there and back to my family safely. They need their mom. Daily I am on the freeway taking my children to sports/activities and I want to know I am in the safest thing I can afford. I would never forgive myself if frugality took the life of my loved one.

        Also, new cars have way more safety features then older cars, even just run of the mill average vehicles. Take the backup camera which is now standard on every vehicle in 2018 (most automakers early adopted) required by law. How many children will be saved from back up accidents getting ran over by their own parents or in the school parking lots.

        So what did I do: I spent 25% of our annual gross income on a new, consumer reports predicted reliability and a very high score on safety SUV. I negotiated a 120K mile warranty and the maintenance package included until 50k miles. Yes, we paid cash and yes it came out of our savings, but if you divide that by the 10+ yrs I will own the vehicle we are very much under the 1/10 rule. And in 7yrs it will likely become my 9yr olds first car, so she will be in a tank, that is if I let her drive. That’s a scary thought! (and this reply ended up so much longer then I anticipated) :)

        All the best :)

        1. Gotcha. I agree on the safety aspect completely. It’s why I ditched the Honda Fit after three years and after our son was born. However, I stuck with my 1/10th rule for car buying when I bought the new family car and used the three years of driving the Fit to save and earn. But I understand that not everything goes according to plan when having a baby!

  33. Charles Dickens

    JD – just curious what you think of A Christmas Carol – is it a bunch of humbug?

  34. Could not agree more! Thanks for this post and encouraging others to focus on building community in their own lives as well.

  35. It is all about being content which can happen no matter your lifestyle or net worth. Great post and keep them coming, amazing how we are actually wired for companionship even me as an introvert.
    I have one big disagreement with the comment and that is that not all cars have the same safety levels. As someone with a lot of experience in this field/industry I can say this is not the case especially on vehicles designed for developing markets. Do some research and make good buying decisions.

  36. I agree with the principle that some things are worth the money. The specifics vary from person to person, but the principle still holds. It seems JD may have gotten too caught up in the specifics.

    As for relationships, I was never a relationship person. It’s not that I shelved it in favor of working. It just didn’t interest me at all. And I think that’s ok. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to give up relationships in order to work more, but if someone just doesn’t have any desire to be in a relationship, they shouldn’t feel like they need to.

    Just keep in mind, one day a girl with a nose ring may ride in on a motorcycle and change your mind, and that’s ok too.

  37. LOVE this post! I just read about people in Japan dying alone in their 50’s because they did not put family and friends first. When it’s all said and done…the big Guy does not care what you have so put your efforts into relationships. Love the gratitude push as well…very very important! Keep up the hard work Sam.

  38. Hell yeah, brother! This post is great for me because it reinforces the entire reason that I want to build wealth in the first place; once I have enough to retire on I can enjoy spending time with the people that I love and care about more often. This post is exactly why I keep coming to this site.

    I think some people stay alone long term because they simply can’t accept someone else in their lives. They can’t change their way of doing things or their daily lives enough to accept someone else in their lives. I have seen people live alone long term because they are just so stubborn and stuck in their ways that they close themselves off to new people before they even meet them.

    As for increasing the odds to meet “the one”, I think the best way to increase our chances of meeting that special someone is to get out and mix it up with as many people as possible. Go new places, try new things, meet new people, and connect with those people on a human level. I met my wife through a group of friends whom I hadn’t hung out with for years. It was after I moved to a new city and started doing things I wasn’t normally doing. It didn’t happen for me sitting at home playing video games or going out to a bar, it happened for me when I joined a group of friends for a birthday party and yard games in the park.

  39. Honestly I feel I was incredibly lucky to find my wife and it was all luck. So I’m aligned with you on beliefs in that regard. The only thing I can say to help others is it needs to be about the both of you not one of you. Even in spending if it’s all about how frugal YOU are, the. You won’t make it. It has to be about the adventure and fun you have together. Even if like JD you like burgers over steak, when you meet the woman find a compromise (cheesesteak?)

  40. Big Geek Daddy

    I’ve been a long time subscriber and in my opinion, this is without a doubt the best thing you’ve ever written. “To be loved and accepted is all we can ever ask.” That sentence should be in LARGE BOLD FONT because many people will skim right over it and never think about its meaning. Keep up the great work but it’s going to be difficult to top this post!

  41. Handy Millennial

    Great post Sam :) I really enjoyed this take. Incidentally there was a study released recently from Harvard that proved this across socioeconomic background and ethnic background over the last 100 years:

    I’m sure you could find a better link but this is all I could find right now. I think there is a real danger of isolation and lifestyle deflation in the financial independence community. Sure some people might enjoy being along and super frugal, but its definitely not the majority. So from my point of view, I like that you tell your readers to enjoy that last 500 instead of worrying about stuffing it into a Roth.

  42. (NOT the JD from this post)

    Turning on the “grateful switch” will fix most any attitude problem in life. While not always successful, I would say this is a perspective I’ve worked at for many, many years. Someone ALWAYS has it worse than you in ANY situation. Always.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree with the GRATEFUL SWITCH too! It’s saved my sole in this crazy, greedy world we live in :)

    2. Gratitude has changed my life too. It is my morning ritual and my fix when I am not happy for a moment. I had some bad kicks like JD and agree with the gist of some of his points. I just keep living my life with my own principles no matter how other people behave. FS is right about relationships — very important, but nobody gets everything in life. If you had a bad childhood it can take a lifetime of mending to figure out how to give and get love. Insecurities come rushing back at anytime no matter how you work on them. That does not mean you can’t be successful and happy.

  43. I’ve spent way too much time visiting people in nursing homes. Many residents, even those with larger families, still end up playing children’s board games. Some read books, and some watch TV. It all depends on mental sharpness. Some highly value visits from family, others consider it a social chore.

  44. Having no family or friends anymore and living alone…
    If I were paranoid, I’d think this article was written to stick it to me.
    If I were paranoid.
    (And I thought that only after just reading the title!)

    But my brain is wired differently (No, I’m not mental!): I’m an introvert, a loner, and I have Trust Issues. When you’re screwed over all the time and live a laid back existence, you tend to be a magnet for bullies. In fact, it’s a matter of Momentum and the Sheeple Effect comes into play (Hey, that guy keeps getting taken advantage of by everyone–so maybe I should take a shot at him, too, everyone else is having Fun doing it! And I Need to be a part of the crowd and accepted by my Peers!). This crap throughout my life has Tempered Me. Loneliness and I are old companions. It’s one of my personal strengths more or less… Being alone is Freedom to some…
    OK, this is getting too personal.

    Back to the title. I disagree and would invert it. Never Forget that we live in a Capitalist society and having money is a Requirement if you want to eat, have shelter, and access to Medical Technology. If you can’t afford a life-saving operation, you’re screwed. If you’re not self-reliant, self-sufficient to Some degree you’re treading on thin ice. You Need Money for everything in this society and don’t believe the hype about how the government is going to fund everything for you.

    What the hell, you want the numbers? Here’s a rebuttal:
    1) That’s a silly mind-game, not a thought experiment. Might as well play “How would you react if you were 5 again and Santa just showed up on Xmas eve?”

    2) I agree to some extent except people tend to take this to delusional proportions. You also don’t do this to Influence people in seeing Good in you. Again, this leads to manipulation and, dare I say it, almost narcissism. I’d rather just be myself.

    3) I agree. Then again reality is reality. I lost a buck but it could have been my whole wallet–or my brain! Again, another mind-game. Is the goal to trick your subconscious here? I’ve better things to do with my time, FS…

    4) Oh yes it is a powerful magnet–for bullies. When I was young I smiled and people took advantage of me. They thought I was Simple Minded for smiling!!!
    Needless to say, I don’t smile anymore. Then again I’ve little To smile at and my sense of humor is d-e-a-d. Nothing makes me laugh anymore, never even these dumb-ass responses.

    5) This is basic cognitive reasoning of course If there is a solution, that is, to the subject problem. Unfortunately not everything has a solution and some solutions can be drastic, unattainable, or divorced from reality. Some carry deadly weight as I prefer to believe in Causality than in God. Like one solution being assassinating the president of…

    6) Self-preservation is something I endeavor to do on a daily basis. If I didn’t I’d be dead now and you wouldn’t be reading this.

    7) I’ve lived longer than you, FS. The problem Is People. There’s not only too many of them, they’re impulsively programmed by the Media (i.e. the 1%ers or whomever is running this country) to Consume/Waste and their mindsets are flooded with fear and prestige which are their true motivators. Hint: America is a Narcissist Nation today. What does that say about its people and their choice for president? More to the point, everyone ASSumes–from a distance. I’ve been branded one time too many, FS. Enough is enough and I’ve thrown in the towel.

    8) Staying hygienic is basic stuff BUT… There are Limits and unfortunately our society imposes on us (again, thanks to Capitalism) that you must shower 6x a day (not take a bath!), brush your teeth 4x each day…and use All sorts of exotic soaps and lotions and exotic mechanical brushes to get clean. Again: Fear strikes again! If you’re not mega-clean you’re gonna die! Or worse won’t be Accepted by Them! Don’t fall into this BS trap. My ancestors didn’t do this and they didn’t become narcissists either. You’ll also save a lot of money, too.

    9) “Emotional Intelligence” – Here comes the buzz words! How about just developing Intelligence and you call it whatever you wish to afterwards?

    10) Being generous and kind are the basics of being a human being, or so it goes. Again, it’s often abused and taken to ridiculous lengths. Go Fund Me pages are what I call Online Begging. That’s not investing money, that’s pissing your money away. Often throwing money at homeless people (or anything for that matter) does little to no good and can not only drain Your wealth but make things worse. A druggie will just use the dough to buy more drugs. Throwing money at S-hole (or is that S-house?) countries only means that those in power put it in their pockets and the people who really need it never get it. That’s been going on for 50+ Years and No Progress has been made except allowing these people to breed more like-minded simpletons enslaved by religion and ignorance. And their leaders Love It. Anyhow, I was Generous to my Final girlfriend and she ended up paying a psychic hundreds of dollars. I’m sure she’s a better person for that, too! “Having a lot of money is pointless if you have nobody to share it with.” Yeah, I’ll give it to Her and she’ll give it to this Mystic Dude to reserve a nice place in God’s Kingdom right next to JC… But it makes her Happy, right? Did I mention that I run away from irrational people, FS?
    Would you like me to post statistics about how many people in the US not only talk to Jesus but also believe in magical bird-people called Angels?

    We are programmed for companionship.
    Key word here being Programmed. We’re also programmed to worship SUVs as the ultimate land vehicles. We are also programmed to fear tap water and buy bottled water. We are also programmed to go to Starbucks and buy $5+ frapagainos so we can be served by baristas and feel like kings. We are also programmed to crave McMansions as the ultimate home representing the American Dream. And don’t get me started on politics, religion, ethnicity. I Love those Ancestry ads where people learn they’re x% whatever so they Have To Now ACT the part!!! If you follow that crap you’ll follow Anything.

    Programmed indeed. How about just Thinking without Conformity? Act rational in an irrational world. Don’t do things just to be Accepted and a part of a particular crowd.

    Have a nice day!
    And I’ll be Praying for you!
    See, I Can smile!

    1. Wait. WAIT. Please don’t believe JD’s claims as being a loner as truth. He just sounds bitter and victimized.

      There’s a strong difference.

      Real loners (I’m certifiable) enjoy their alone time and their social contact meter fills up quicker but that’s IT. We are still social creatures – I just don’t need that much of it before (personally) I get sleepy and want to nap haha.

      Real loners comfortable themselves DON’T go around saying things like “The problem Is People.”

      Are you kidding me? That’s the template diary heading of a disturbed school shooter.

    2. The faults in humanity are various and frustrating – sort of no-win in many cases. People choose all kinds of ways to deal with them. I don’t have a problem with your response to humanity’s Kobayashi Maru.

    3. Charleston.C

      I just want to point out that Sonicare comes in different variations and price points. You can get one under $50 on, or you can get extra features that you may never use for $200. It is legitimately one of the best thing I’ve purchased for myself health wise. Not only does it clean better, it clean faster. The automatic timer default at 4×30 seconds interval means I would never over brush (wasting time), or under brush (not clean enough). Brushing with a traditional toothbrush may achieve the same effect after 5 minutes of brushing, so at the end of the day the time you save makes the whole product worthwhile regardless of all other bells and whistles.

      Full disclosure: I wish I would get paid by Philips for sharing this, but the truth is, the product itself is worth praising. Being able to share such a wonderful product with someone who might not experience it otherwise is enough of an incentive for me to “hype” it.

      1. Sonicare toothbrushes are wonderful, and they clean much better than manual toothbrushes, but I find that they have several large caveats:

        – They don’t last very long. I’ve owned ~6 of them in the past 15 years. Their batteries gets weaker over time, and they can suddenly die. I somewhat suspect that planned obsolescence is a factor, so JD might be right about that part. That being said, they do last an order of magnitude longer than cheap AA-battery electric toothbrushes.

        – Their marketing is extremely gimmicky. There’s barely any difference between the $50 model (totally worth it) and the $100-200 models (a complete waste of money). I think a lot of what JD is complaining about are pricy gimmicks that don’t bring any real value. And he’s right that dentists and other supposed-experts are selling out their consumers and providing misinformation.

        In any case, I’ll be happy when Sonicare’s patent expires and we see some true competition in the market.

        1. FWIW (and way off topic for this blog post), I use Quip. It’s an electric toothbrush subscription service that sends you a new toothbrush head every 3 months. I think I paid something like $40 for the brush and the heads for a year.

          But yeah, electric toothbrushes are much better. They make my life more simple since I don’t have to remember replacing the head every 3 months, and it guides the timing for brushing each section of my mouth. Yes I could get a manual toothbrush for cheaper and have calendar reminders, but why would I? It’s money well spent. Pick your frugal battles wisely.

    4. What I appreciate most about this reply is that it clearly expresses and supports your stance without venturing into name calling and rhetoric. Yes there is abundant proof firmly supporting JD’ experience/views and there is also abundant proof firmly supporting Sam’s experience/views and that fact is eye-opening. Thank you both for sharing your views, wish we all could dissent as eloquently and civilly.

    5. Ironically, for the amount of time you spend pointing out the faults of Narcissism, you seem to suffer from that very malady. Nowhere in any of your diatribe did you take personal responsibility for anything other than your own survival, which you claim to defend daily. Where are you? What war torn area of the globe are you scraping by in?

      Again, you miss the point of the post entirely. Attitude is the catalyst by which all that ails you is leveraged. If you’re attitude is that you’re a victim (the several bully references) then you will continue to see all negative experiences through that lense. If, however, you understand your own personal responsibility to experience life and learn how YOU can do better, you’ll never fall victim to anything or anyone again.

      You say you’re older than Sam but I can’t imagine a grown man blaming life’s hardships on bullies and how something as simple as smiling doomed them to victimhood. I feel bad for you man. Go see that shrink some more.

    6. JD, your comment is very compelling to me. An important portion of your post does not represent Christianity well. I think you may be missing a considerable piece that could be helpful for you, or for anyone with or without money. Please reflect that few theologians seriously advocate the “mystical dude” concept or the “earning a spot next to JC” idea, and I think the “causality vs. God” debate is a good start but would benefit from a more through analysis.

      Samurai are warriors, doers, and earners. Throughout history, others (including retired samurai) with surpluses of education and leisure have advanced learning, understanding, happiness, and peace along side a compelling and passionate religious belief. If you feel that the Christian ideas you are familiar with have been presented with hostility or are otherwise misguided, you may benefit from seeing how other cultures and peoples have pursued similar problems and challenges. From your post, you sound like you are capable of making considerable progress on these questions.

      I am confident that you will find tremendous positive benefit from this type of work. You will discover an enjoyable, creative outlet that brings peace and serenity to you and those around you. You will enjoy the company of others more, and your health will improve. And the effect won’t be magical or mysterious, but a natural outgrowth of knowledge that humanity has possessed for a long time.

      Best wishes,

    7. Hey JD. I’m sorry that some people picked on you and made you feel this way. It’s sad that so many people feel the need to pick on others and drive them to the point they no longer want to interact with anyone…

      I don’t blame you for feeling bitter (at least it seems that way). You’re obviously not stupid, and probably have many qualities. I think you just need to be more open to the idea that not everyone is a lemming with bad intentions.

      I’ve never really been bullied (other than the occasional poke), but one thing’s for sure the people that pick on others are usually suffering themselves in some way or another. I wish people could look past their own feelings and just realize that we’re all in this together man. FS is right, we all need people. If we didn’t I wouldn’t be writing this on the internet, and nobody would be reading it…

      Peace and love, friends.

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