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My concept of FU money isn't that you get to be an uninhibited jerk. Rather, if someone's a jerk to you, you can say "FU" and not worry about whether you're going to be able to pay the bills. The sort of thing you can't do if you're dependent on your employer to maintain your lifestyle.

But that's the case with nearly everyone who has >~3 months of savings. If it's just one isolated person that's being a jerk to you, quit and find another job. Hell, you can do that with no money in the bank if you find the other job first and then quit.

I don't agree. I've got more than 2 years of take-home pay in "savings" (non-tax advantaged accounts) plus a bunch in 401(k), and I still don't feel the luxury of telling my boss to go stick it. (I also have expensive hobbies and 2 kids under 2 years old.)

To me, I don't have FYM, despite meeting your threshold 8x over. It would not be easy for me to replace my current income at another job. (I'm 7+ years here, know our tech and business inside and out, and am paid pretty fairly for that, but that doesn't mean that I have nearly the same value to another company, something that headhunters who call have a hard time grasping when I tell them my comp range.)

In each of these cases, you still have to find another job, which means you still have to worry about paying the bills.

It also doesn't have to be your employer: it can be anyone you're financially tied to in some way.

Right, but finding another job is typically not a problem for people with the skills to make FU money (through means other than the lottery and inheritance, at least). If your boss is an asshole and you're not, and you're skilled in any reasonably competitive field, you shouldn't have trouble finding another job where the boss is not an asshole.

That might be true, but I've gotten the impression that a lot of people who've made FU money aren't necessarily super skilled, but happened to do the right thing at the right time.

I can't give a comprehensive survey of everyone who's made FU money, but take Tim Ferris for example. He's not a whiz at building websites: he just knew to cash in on selling brain supplements online when that stuff was taking off.

Edit: I should point out that I don't think FU money is exclusively about being able to say "FU" to a jerk. I emphasized that aspect just to invert the comment I was responding to. FU money can also just be about ditching a career you're not that interested in (but may be highly skilled at, and otherwise locked into).

That's only true within a limited set of constraints, for example, the tech industry. The film industry also uses the same term "FU money" and it means the same thing: the ability to choose your situation. In that industry, any successful actor or director will forever remember the pivotal project that put them over that line.

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