Sunday, October 21, 2012

Early Retirement Extreme and beyond

It is hard to believe that it has been two years since I first did a book review on Early Retirement Extreme.  It seemed time to mention it again.  Many have found themselves In The Trenches over the past few years and having a necessity to cut back, adjust, and rework their financial picture.  Some have made tremendous progress and many are still waiting for politicians to find a solution to their personal problems. 

Over the past couple of years I have had the opportunity to hear comments not only on my book but also have shared Jacob's book with others.  The most common comment from those that don't love it is that it is "Just too extreme".  So the title then was accurate and that is the best news about it.  By taking an extreme approach one can honestly reevaluate their own situation from a bare minimum standpoint and then add to the basics to the degree one best feels represents their own goals, choices, and desired lifestyle.

For me personally I still long for and maintain my piece of sod in the country despite tremendous obstacles faced over the last couple of years.  But I was inspired and encouraged by Jacob's book to take a hard look for my own need of a car and have used other available transportation options for almost 3 years.  And, no thanks on the cell phone even though I was twice offered the use of one free for a year. 

That is the beauty of being extreme.  It allows more imagination and analysis for personal choices and alerts us to the fact that we may be adopting the choices of others or even worse we might be influenced by the culture around us that are wholly designed to take our hard earned time and money for their own benefit.  If you have read either mine or Jacob's books I'm sure that has been much more evident in the recent political debates - the fight is all about who gets the money.  Not all as noble or patriotic as one might like to imagine.

Both books recommend cutting back to have more.  After the step of cutting back the having more becomes all the more possible being free from many debts, obligations, and encumbrances to not only our money but more importantly to our thinking. 

In the past two years Jacob's book has sold remarkably and he has returned to employment not because he needs to but because he loves it.   This is the greatest joy of the process is: freedom to make our own choices without trudging through our days believing we have not choice but to continue in a job we might hate.

So, if you haven't read it yet,  I hope you will check out Early Retirement Extreme, now also in Kindle version.

Reprinted from October 2010:

I have often mentioned Early Retirement Extreme as I have enjoyed Jacob's mind bending approach to finances so much. I first heard of ERE about three months ago. We share some of the same ideas for how to achieve financial independence but whereas my book is especially geared toward those going through financial hardship or downturn Jacob shows how you can take things even further and achieve early retirement! 
Link to Publisher
About the author:

Jacob Lund Fisker retired early at 33 years old. He did this by figuring out how to spend very little money by living simply and learning many skills to become more self-sufficient thus reducing his need for money to a quarter of the average person. Instead of spending the other three quarters of his money on stuff, he invested it for income to pay for the few things he can not make himself. This meant he reached financial independence at age 30 and no longer works for a living. He now spends his time volunteering for nonprofits, crewing on racing yachts, practicing martial arts, and writing the blog to show others the way to financial freedom.

Early Retirement Extreme
A philosophical and practical guide to financial independence
Authored by Jacob Lund Fisker

Early Retirement Extreme provides a robust strategy that makes it possible to stop working for money in just a short number of years. It provides a paradigm shift in economic perspective from consuming to producing. Your value to society is not how much you earn or how much you buy. It is what you create and produce for yourself and for others. It is what you leave, not what you take. Consumers are often locked into expensive options, but producers have the flexibility to create appropriate solutions at a quarter of the cost. The resulting savings (the difference between income and expenses) is one's monetary contribution to society. When savings are put to work through investments, society will pay dividends which cover the remaining expenses resulting in financial independence.

The strategy can also be used to pay off debt, travel the world, volunteer, go back to school, or work on otherwise nonprofitable endeavors without worrying about the next paycheck. It offers a compelling alternative to the default choice of graduating high school, getting a college degree, buying a car, getting married, buying a house, filling it with furniture, clothes, TVs, washing machines, lawn mowers, and electric egg boilers, and then spending the next 40 years working 9-5 to pay it all off.

The book is on the market through Don't forget to check out the Early Retirement Extreme blog and on Facebook.

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