Thursday, September 30, 2010

Early Retirement Extreme - The Book

Link to Publisher
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!  I've anxiously awaited the publication of this book and look forward to reading what he has chosen to write about.  We'll just have to do the reviews together.  Carol
10/3/10 The book is now on Amazon.  Please don't forget to do a review to let people know what you think of the book. 

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 the publisher today and will be available on in aproximately two weeks.  Don't forget to check out the Early Retirement Extreme blog and on Facebook.


Early Retirement Extreme said...

The main part of the strategy is simply how to figure out how to live well and spend very little money doing so. By very little money, I mean something like half of a minimum wage job. Although a minimum wage like income will make early retirement take something like 15 years instead of 5, it is possible.

I should mention that the book is not focusing on frugality techniques but more on frugality principles. This means an emphasis on putting the techniques together to achieve more synergy rather than applying them more strongly.

I should also mention that it would probably be hard to apply anything from the book as a temporary measure. Most of it is aimed at changing the way one thinks about spending, saving, and living.

Carol said...

Thanks Jacob! Now doesn't that spike your interest? To live on half of a minimum wage job? And retire in 15 years?

Carol said...

Jacob has written more detail on the format of the book that will provide all the tools for you to make your own early retirement plans.

Invest It Wisely said...

Wow, so the book is actually out now? That is so cool. One should definitely keep one's mind open to the alternatives, as the default, high expense path is not the only path available through life.

Olivia said...

I followed your link to ERE and was overwhelmed by the mindset. It really is different. What comes across at first blush is Jacob is brilliant and his method for analyzing opportuities and investing is beyond my ken.

Interacting with the philosophy prompts this line of thinking. The methods a person chooses to reach their goals depend on individual resources (intelligence, physical strength and agility, geography, time, abilities) and what is important to them during the journey. Some of these resources can be expanded, learning new skills, increasing body health, changing locales. But what necessities you put in your "suitcases" colors everything.

I come from a family of artists, where living a sensorally spartan life wouldn't be worth it. Combining beauty with utility is a more viable approach. For us the goals and journey are less separate. Artists create and interact their entire lives. This involves having stuff.

The common thread between the two lines is to live thoughtfully. Something Jacob masterfully lays out. He calls it synergy. My dad answered a question about his sculpting method and it suits this approach, "you chip away everything that isn't an elephant".

Carol said...

Olivia, :). I'm glad you took the time to check out the site and now see why I generally list Jacob as being in a class by himself. I agree that the point is not so much in "a program" as it is in taking a fresh view of what we are doing and customizing our lives to best suit our own gifts, strengths, and talents. It is the difference between buying an off the rack dress compared to a designer original.

More than once I have read Jacob's posts and mentally chewed on it for up to a week before coming to a conclusion. And, just when your mind seems to be stretched he gives a recipe for pancakes. :)

I do believe that his work could become "a movement". Jacob, are you ready?

Early Retirement Extreme said...

@Olivia - After messing around with some complicated investments, the methods I prefer today are actually fairly pedestrian: Higher yielding blue chips. Doing it on your own takes 15 minutes per year. If you don't want to mess with the details, ETFs exist.

I agree that the capacity for analyzing/spotting opportunities may be inherent. Yet I think there's room to grow for most people.

Changing one's mindset from consuming to creating is a big factor. I'm no minimalist in that regard. I consume little, but my tool collection for making stuff is ever expanding. If you're not already aware of DIY culture and DIY ethics, you'll find that it's largely populated by artists. I think artists can benefit hugely by saving enough money to create their own foundation to sponsor them so to speak. All the time in the world.

@Carol - I'm not really ready to be the leader of a movement. I'd prefer the movement to be distributed rather than centralized. If people can take my stuff and make it their own, that would be great.

Carol said...

Oops Jacob, I didn't think you would read that. :)

Anonymous said...

Enjoying life while living frugally to save up until you're in your retirement years is highly possible. A short term sacrifice for a happy retirement may not seem like an ideal situation for some but they have to understand that in the later part of their life, not this economy, nor their 401k or social security can save them.

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