Early Retirement Extreme - Book

Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence by Jacob Lund Fisker.


The book is presumptuous, extreme, pretty dry throughout most of it, but at the end of the day, it is an important read. Like most books that take a strong stance (which almost every great book does), the reader has to be cautious in identifying what works for him/her. The author blindly assumes that all people are like him in their interests and desires towards life, time, and finances. They aren't. Everyone is different. For some people, the happiness of buying a new car supersedes the cost of spending the time at work. And that is OK. Fisker assumes that it is not OK. He simply places a different type of value on his time, freedom and his financial independence than most other people.


On the other hand, it is important to be as objective and removed as possible when reviewing your own life and truly assess what it is that makes you happy. This is probably impossible to do on a truly objective level, but it is how we will identify exactly how much of these principals should be applied to our lives. For example, is buying a new pair of jeans really worth it. Is it really more valuable having the new pair of jeans than having a complete day off of work? Or, let’s say you spend $200 on a pair of jeans, and instead you put the 200 into an investment account that returns 10%. That 200 is 3500 in 30 years. That may not be much, but you extrapolate that to every new shirt, shoes, jeans, coffee, silverwear, anything you spend money on. Accumulated over a life time and included with compounded interest and growth, that will literally be millions of dollars. Which of the things you buy are truly worth it to you?


There are dozens of really interesting concepts and ideas. An example is, why does everyone in the neighborhood own a lawn mower just so they can use it for 15 minutes a week? Why isn’t there just 1 lawnmower for the block?


Good book. Definitely worth the read.