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Cashing in on the American Dream: How to Retire at 35 Hardcover – July 1, 1988

4.2 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 227 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1st edition (July 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553052896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553052893
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, along with Your Money or Your Life, changed our lives. By following the advice outlined in these two books, we were able to quit our jobs in our forties and pursue other interests. We have been free of the daily grind for over four years now, thanks in part to Paul Terhorst, Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez (authors of YMOYL).
In a conversational style, Terhorst explains how he realized his job was sapping the life out of him, and how he used his skills as an accountant to devise a plan that would enable him to retire at 39 years of age. Unfortunately, the specific financial advice he gives (invest in high-yield certificates of deposit) is no longer possible. But number-crunching is not the most important message that Terhorst has.
Cashing in on the American Dream advocates a no-nonsense approach to determining just what you want in life. Do you want to be free of working for others? Then it might mean giving up your car and dinners out. But it doesn't have to mean giving up what you really love (or need). Terhorst and his wife, Vicki, have been retired almost twenty years now and have spent much of it traveling the world. They have health insurance abroad, because it's cheaper than U.S. insurance, and better.
The Terhorsts have their own website and I like to check in on them once or twice a year. The fact that they have made their plan work all these years is more important than any advice they have. Cashing in on The American Dream is an inspiring book. If they could do it, why can't you?
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Format: Hardcover
I know this book is out of print but if you get an opportunity to buy or read this book I would recommend it. And maybe, just maybe the author will update the book for this new century. I certainly hope so. "Cashing in on the American Dream" the title says it all, financial independence and early retirement.
It may not be for everybody, but it appeals to many.
This book is a little dated when it refers to 8% CDs, but the concept is one which is timeless. The author, Paul Terhorst was featured in "Money" magazine several times and has a web site [...] The author retired from his CPA job at KPMG to live the life of world travel and financial freedom. When he retired in 1984 he was making in excess of $125,000 a year. The concept works best where you have a high priced personal residence in a hot real estate market. The premise is that you sell your high priced house and your status car. Then you take the proceeds and invest it in a SAFE, CONSERVATIVE investment living off the interest and never touch the principle. You move to a lower priced area, either in the US or outside. A friend of mine spends much of his time in Costa Rica and tells me that one can still live there for $10,000 to $20,000 a year. I have been to Lake Chapala in Mexico where many Americans live a comfortable low cost life in a moderate temperate climate. A major consideration is health insurance and health care. Some people will be able to get continued coverage from their former employers or the employer of their spouse. For many people this does not work.
One of the basic concepts of the book is that you have money to begin with. If you have no money this process just won't work. But the author does have a chapter entitled "It takes less money than you think".
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book after realizing that I didn't want to travel 100% as a computer science software consultant for the next 30 years and work 80 hours a week. My father still works a couple of projects and my mother worked as an occupational therapist for over 30 years. She just retired. I wanted to avoid the stress of a prestigious lifestyle and the constant need for money. I have curbed my desire for the new BMW & uptown condo. I have instead focused on saving at least 50% of my six figure income. I'm 25 and dedicated to retiring within the next 10 years. I will be married eventually and do plan to have kids. My plan is to retire with enough (500 - 750k) so that neither of us has to work, but rather work because we want to. I'm still trying to convince her it's the path to hapiness. It's definitely the road less taken...coming from a family of lawyers and doctors, it's tough to make people understand the true joy of living. May we celebrate the significance of birth and the joy of living. This book will teach you how. You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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Format: Hardcover
Tired of life on the corporate treadmill, Paul Terhorst retired from his Accounting career at age 35.
The main premise of this book is that by tapping into equity you may already have (like your house), and keeping your expenses at a reasonable level, you may find that you are closer to retirement than you think.
A key component of Mr. Terhorst's philosophy is appropriately entitled "Don't work for your Assets". When you consider the amount of money that many of us spend on property taxes, car payments, car insurance, expensive toys, swimming pools, etc., who are we really working for? Are we working for ourselves or simply supporting our assets? His solution to this situation is to calculate how much those assets would be worth if they were converted to cash. When he went through the exercise for himself, he realized he had enough money to retire at age 35.
Many years after retiring and writing this book, Mr. Terhorst and his wife are still retired, doing what they want each day, instead of slaving away from 9 to 5 for someone else, which is a testament to the effectiveness of his early retirement philosophy.
An excellent book. Highly recommended.
John L. White, author "I'm in Debt, Over 40, With No Retirement Savings, HELP!"
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