19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Making You Think,
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This review is from: Early Retirement Extreme: A philosophical and practical guide to financial independence (Kindle Edition)
This was one of the first books I bought for the Kindle that really began to use the additional features that the machine offers. Specifically, the ability to cut and clip paragraphs that you find notable and the ability to make your own notes as you read were very useful as I worked my way through the text. For me, the most enjoyable thing about this book was that it offered quite a different take on the world of money. Instead of giving advice on how to amass a fortune that might allow you retire early in comfort or luxury, it challenges the whole notion about what exactly you need that money for? Coming to think of it, why are you working every hour God sends to spend the small amount of free time you actually get lying exhausted on the couch, surrounded by gadgets you have no notion of using and people that you have little energy to really interact with? Yes, of course you can retire early, but before you do it, think long and hard about what you will do with the time and how much money you will really need to enjoy that time in a way that you will find personally fulfilling.
I really enjoyed the section of the book entitled "The Lock In" that examines the almost insane cycle most people have got themselves into in Western society - working and working to buy largely meaningless stuff in exchange for losing the time that they could use to enjoy the stuff that they've bought! In this way, the book is more a philosophical examination of our society and values than a text book that will help you save and invest for a life of retirement luxury.
For those of us who actually largely enjoy our job and the world of work, there is still much to take away from the book. It helped me qualify some half-baked notions about retiring at 55 for example, and gave some tips on how to calculate what I'd need to do so, while also pushing me to think about what I wanted to do with the time once I'd reached that goal. As the title suggests, you can take an extreme view of retiring early - live rent free in a tent at the bottom of a friend's garden, live on porridge and boiled water and write that book you keep fantasising about. You don't need much money for that, and you'll have all the free time in the world. Unfortunately, it will also feel like it.
The reality of life is that you do need a bit of money for the life of milk and honey. The fact that Mr Fisker seems quite keen to sell more copies of this book (as evidenced in his blog) recognises this. Maybe he is quite keen on having that Mercedes after all. Nevertheless, if you want a stimulating, amusing and different take on our world of finance and early retirement from the rat race, investing some of your hard earned time and money on this book is definitely worth it.