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Cashing in on the American Dream: How to Retire at 35
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I read the book in one session and it confirms many of the things I have come to realize albeit at a much older age (yet much before the 'normal' retirement age.) One major difference is that because of my limited financial resources, I have decided to live off my savings (and social security when they become available) income and not just the interest on savings. This way I can retire very comfortably.
Not everyone will be able to retire at 35. Obviously not the physician who at age 35 just got out of residency with $250K in debt. Or somebody working at retail getting paid $10 an hour or so. But prudent saving and post-retirement frugal living will let people retire at 40, 45, 50, 55, or 60.
Paul is a pioneer and I have my respect for him.
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?
We started looking in 1991, found a place in MS (on the beach, historic home, 6,000 sq ft, 1-acre lot) that we loved, bought
it in August and retired in Jan 1992 at the age of 48, living the dream ever since then. I loaned the original to several friends
and lost track of it years ago. When I stumbled across it on Amazon, I had to have it on my desk to remind me of how we got
to be where we are today, 22 years later (no longer in MS - Katrina took care of that chapter).