Set forth below are the texts of three comments that I recently posted to the Goon Central board:
Not true, since most of what you have you inherited.
My father and mother worked very hard for a long number of years for the money I inherited from them, GW. My mother had to leave school after eighth grade to work in a factory so that her family had enough to eat in the Depression. They lived in the row-house they bought (mostly with checks he sent back to her while he was in the service) when he got back from the war until the day they died. They were insanely generous when it came to helping me or my brothers finance our educations (leaving school after eighth grade left a scar on my mother that she addressed by pushing her boys to go much farther — education spending was in a different category than any other kind). The only thing that I would call luxury spending that they ever directed to themselves is the money they used in their old age to play the slots at Atlantic City. I remember as a boy listening to my father negotiate the price of our week-long stay at the Emandee motel in the beach town of Wildwood, N.J. (he would walk if the weekly price wasn’t brought down to $100).
That money meant something to them. They gave that money to me and my brothers as an expression of their love.
They gave that money with certain unspoken expectations. The had values that they instilled in me as a boy that they hoped I would follow as an adult.
One of those values was honesty. Another was caring about your friends and neighbors and co-workers. Another was doing solid work.
If I were to post dishonestly on safe withdrawal rates, I would be dishonoring my parents as much as I would be dishonoring myself and as much as I would be dishonoring the Buy-and-Hold pioneers who laid the groundwork for the huge advances we have achieved over the past 10 years with Valuation-Informed Indexing.
Given the abuse that I have taken from you Goons, I think it would be fair to say that I earned the money I obtained via an unspoken promise not to shame my parents to a far greater extent than I ever earned the hundreds of thousands I saved in the nine years prior to my early retirement (when I did not know that I would be receiving a penny in inheritance).
Either way, I possess zero willingness to dishonor them today by joining forces with you Goons. I’ll take the electric chair before I will do that. I might cry about it if it comes to that. But I’ll never look back at regret on the decision. If I agree to post dishonestly on safe withdrawal rates, I’m not the same person that I have been in the process of becoming for 56 years. If I agree to post dishonestly on the numbers my friends use to plan their retirements, that person is dead. Taking the electric chair instead lets the person who is called “Rob Bennett” live at least a wee bit longer.
I will continue to post honestly on the numbers that my friends use to plan their retirements.
And I will continue to wish you and all the other Goons the best possible luck in all of your future endeavors.
There’s zero give on either one of those two.
My best wishes to you, my good man.