Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Help Now, Not Later

3M has argued that charitable giving can be deferred until FI.

I disagree.

It is true that a society made of FI individuals could, in theory, give more and do more.  We do not live in a society of FI individuals.  People who need help need it now.  There is an urgency to adoption, to the unwilling homeless, to the abandoned, to charitable giving, that is not about to take a 10-year break until we reach our FI targets and can give 10% of our 4% safe-withdrawal rate.  Thus, giving must continue to happen now.

It seems to me that a disciplined person (I am not really one of them right now) ought to be able to give sacrificially while 'stashing along.  It takes a pretty low-money lifestyle, but that's a good thing, right?  Some friends of ours have a 1/3rd-1/3rd-1/3rd rule - spend-save-give.  This seems about right to me, and still maintains a higher savings rate than almost any household in the US.  Now comes the hard part of doing it.

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