Do you plan on retiring early? Are you into the idea of early retirement extreme?
I wrote about early retirement on here recently. I wanted to explore this topic so that I could learn more about early retirement and what it has to offer. I ended up learning a lot from my research and from what you guys had to say about it in the comments.
The hidden gem of this blog is often the comments and insights that you guys share with us. I was excited to see that the man behind the Early Retirement Extreme movement himself, Jacob, stopped by to respond. I wanted to share these comments with you guys.
Jacob on the criticism of trying to sell books with the early retirement movement…
“If the point is to sell books or pageviews, it’s much better to write easily digested and semi-controversional posts for the working masses who clip coupons or dollarcost average into low-fee index funds. Plenty of advertising money there. Even better, real estate seminars and get rich quick schemes.
I can pretty much guarantee that writing about how to question society and how not to spend any money at all is going to backfire spectacularly if you try to monetize it—I mean, who is going to click on it? Think about it! I’ve had people telling me that they’ll be waiting 6 months to get my book from the library in order to save $10.
In any case, trying to decide whether someone is “retired” based on whether they used to be an athlete or an astronaut and now works in a bicycle shop, or whether their BFF or second-cousin’s dog still works, or whether they mow their own lawn (hey, that’s a kind of work, isn’t it?), or exactly when a hobby becomes work (IRS definitions, anyone?), or whether they beach-sitting quota has been fulfilled is a semantic and idiosyncratic non-starter and best avoided.
To me retirement is simply a frame of mind achieved once you have enough money in perpetuity to tell anyone, including managers, that you’re leaving now because you have better things to do.”
Jacob then explained how he managed to reduce his expenses and live off so little…
“For the record, Sam, I’ve been living on $7,000/year for almost 12 years now. Making money doesn’t change that. Money doesn’t matter when you’re almost completely self-reliant and don’t rely on spending money to be happy. I have more money than I know what to spend it on.
I believe in voluntary simplicity as a lifestyle and in “doing” instead of “buying”. I’ve believed in that for over a decade and don’t foresee changing these beliefs anytime soon. This lifestyle leads to increased self-reliance, less waste, self-discipline, and more opportunities from having excess money and not being tied down by stuff and obligations like jobs and bills.
The more you know, the less you need.
I realize that this gets certain people’s goat(s) because it’s a rejection of consumerism and common materialistic values. Quoting Tyler Durden: “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your khakis.”
And you’re not how much you spend per year either. Try asking a consumer to describe who they are as a person without referring to their job title. Try asking them to describe what kind of life they’re living without referring to their spending. Many can’t. I think that’s sad.
But to each their own.
The point being that with our combined savings, DW and I have enough money and skills to live off of our interest income for the rest of our life. So we aim to do whatever interests us. It doesn’t matter if we have a job; if we sit on a beach; if we sit in a plane flying somewhere.
We do what we want. Currently DW is back in school for yet another degree putting a few more letters behind her name and I got a gig as a trader on LaSalle St. staring at numbers. We’re both intellectuals, so we like to try new things. Mostly the kind of things and experiences that have to be earned.”
Everyone has their own retirement plan. If you’ve thought about early retirement, this is how you can pull it off.