Early Retirement Extreme written by Jacob Lund Fisker and was not disappointed! Jacob is also the author of a successful blog by the same name and has developed a growing number of readers worldwide where forums and cell groups have begun and are taking hold. It is the wave movement taking hold across the land and for good reason. Amazon readers give Early Retirement Extreme a five star rating and sales are doing great for this first time author. Where else can a person read and find support for frugal, green, and healthy living and set a course for retiring in five years all at the same time? Jacob shows how these principles can be applied with tremendous success even on a minimum wage job.
If you have read any of Jacob's writing you know that just when you are fully concentrating to understand what he is saying he cracks an unexpected joke that gets you laughing. Rather than attempt to recount the book chapter by chapter which you can do on your own I have decided to highlight some of my favorite parts:
The Consumer Dungeon - If you have not taken the time to consider the downside of the consumer driven economy in which we live Jacob has written a graphic, disturbing account that reads like the beginning of a dramatic movie. Men especially will appreciate the details that seem to come out of a end of the world future movie that is happening all around us. In fact, the entire book could be made into a movie recounting one man's journey to freedom and his willingness to show others the way.
The Four Economic Quadrants - Lifestyles are categorized as the salary, working man, business man, and renaissance man. Having had the opportunity to live in each one and move throughout during different periods of time I know that the descriptions of each and the pros and cons are straight forward and accurate. By recognition and acknowledgement a person is much more able to maneuver the direction they want to go without succumbing to the unconscious influences that would keep them from their goals.
Goals, Strategies, and Tactics - Why do our goals fail or take so long? Often it is because we do not take into account the opposing or conflicting factors either in our own lives or surrounding circumstances. Jacobs goal building charts show how to integrate our lives and daily habits in a way that will provide congruency and ultimate success. More importantly is by taking a few minutes charting things out it not only finds a solution but the BEST solution when reviewing multiple options.
The Renaissance Man- Wouldn't you just like to be YOURSELF? Sometimes does it get difficult to even know who this is when we conform, fractionalize our lives, keep up with the Jones, and spend all our money to comply with a certain lifestyle, profession, or tax structure? It is no wonder that people have what is termed "A Midlife Crisis", or turn to t.v., weekend partying, or shopping to numb the mind. We are so busy that it is easy to lose our own sense of identity. In becoming a Renaissance person we are able to rediscover the curiosity and mastery we had as a child when we took apart the radio or dreamed of becoming a cowboy. The difference is that now as adults we can combine our dreams with skills, talents, plans, and knowledge that we did not earlier possess. Though it sounds idealistic the process is extremely practical and through the changes we gain the time and money to pursue who we are after the fashion of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
The Practical Side of Life - Detailed chapters to help you consider housing, clothing, food, and transportation choices are provided. Another gem in this is section is the answer to the question that every person from Washington State wants to know, "Do you get more rain on you when you walk or run?"
Investing - I admit that algebra was my all time worst subject. When I first saw the equations my eyes glazed and my mind when blank. But as I continued to read I was excited to see that investment strategies were provided not as a specific "how to" but as a set of principles that could be applied whether you choose to invest in stocks, gold, timber, or real estate.
There is no doubt that Jacob Lund Fisker is an extremely intelligent, educated, and analytical person and for these reasons his writing may be somewhat intimidating at times because it compels us to look at and think about much we have taken for granted. What is rare about Jacob is that he is able to take this information and break it down to it's simplest form and find methods that are ultimately practical and so full of common sense that they can be applied with success by anyone regardless of profession, education, social status, advantage, or lack of them.
The ERE Strategy is intended to be a comprehensive adjustment that will enable a person to retire in five years. For those who are not ready to jump in for the entire lifestyle change a modified version can be adopted that will shave years off the time needed to pay off mortgages, debt, build retirement funds, or provide the flexibility for the ups and downs in life.
As we start the new year following what has been one of the most difficult economic times in American history Early Retirement Extreme provides a method for the fast track to recovery and prosperity. The book will pay for itself thousands of times over and can undoubtedly be the best investment for the new year. I'm excited as I watch the principles gain popularity and momentum and recommend this book as one of the best New Years Resolutions a person can have and look forward to seeing the title on the best seller's list.