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Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 229 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1453601211
ISBN-10: 145360121X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jacob Lund Fisker retired at 33 and wrote Early Retirement Extreme to share his systems-theory approach to personal economic efficiency with others. His ideas have been featured in articles in Forbes, USA Today, US News & World Report, The Guardian, PBS Next Avenue, The Atlantic, and many others.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145360121X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453601211
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished the book and I can honestly say it has changed my outlook in life and my frame of reference and has already changed my habits and behaviors. Even as a PhD in economics, I learned some really important insights about economics and human behavior. Specifically, I enjoyed the author's take on the role of consumption and production in our lives. In a modern economy, we use specialization and comparative advantage as a method to organize production but also, unfortunately, as a way of organizing our own lives. However, the author's key point is that an individual's level of happiness/satisfaction is a function of more than just consumption--it is also very much based on producing things--and not just one type of output related to work (e.g., writing memos). So, how does this relate to retiring early? It turns out a lot. Rather than focusing solely on increasing one's income via greater specialization (which typically just leads to a proportional increase in one's consumption levels or even greater debt), the author suggests focusing on reducing consumption--radically. However, this is not a book about denying consumption per se, it is about redefining the role that consumption has in our lives.

This is simply one of the best books I have ever read. It is a life changer. The book has more than paid for itself. As a society, we tend to spend hundreds or thousands to make ourselves feel better (e.g., shopping sprees, "experience" vacations, expensive hobbies with lots of gadgets and gear) all the while returning back to a steady state of "getting by" after a few weeks. Instead, why not find a better steady state.
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Format: Paperback
This book is for anyone who aspires to create a different reality for themselves. If you are comfortable slaving away at your "career" for the next 40 years, saving 5 to 10 percent of your income with the hopes of one day retiring, then this book is NOT for you. If you work so you can buy things, then work to service the debt required to buy even more things, then this book is NOT for you.

However, if you think that the American Dream is alive and well, yet albeit not in the traditional sense, then you need to read this book. If you can be focused, patient and disciplined to attain a goal that is within reach of anyone who wants it, then you need to read this book. If you dare to be different, if you enjoy finding an alternative to the mundane same ol', same ol', then you need to read this book.

More specifically, this book is for anyone who is looking for the philosophy of living a different lifestyle, one that frees them from the chains of the typical corporate life.

First, let me explain what you will not learn in this book. You will not learn the next great investment strategy. You will not learn how to flip real estate, how to make millions on the Internet or how to turn a small investment in a penny stock into millions. This book is about so much more than getting rich. In fact, it is not even about getting rich, rather it is about becoming wealthy.

What you will learn is a philosophy for living detached from the economy. You will learn how to provide for yourself by being efficient and sustainable. You will learn how to change your perspective so that you can see how it is possible to live on less while living more.
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Format: Paperback
This gem of a book will be helpful for anyone trying to rid themselves of the consumer mentality. I will keep it on hand to refer to whenever I feel the "need" to buy something. The author gives many alternative solutions to everyday needs that can be had for little or no money. Although, it is most definately not the typical thrift manual that tells you what to buy and what to eat and what to do. It is more of a philosophy of living where the author shares what has worked for him and also offers a complete realm of other ideas as well a how to think about and analyze the many choices for each situation.

Similar topics are covered as in the blog [...] but they are covered much more thoroughly. The book is NOT a simple copy of the blog.

Topics discussed are philosophy of lifestyles and consumer mentality, different philosophies of working, and then onto more practical matters such as transportation, housing, food, exercise, investments. The author also touches on dealing with a spouse that isn't "on board" with the lifestyle and dealing children while trying to live thoughtfully which I found to be very accurate.

This would be an excellent addition to the library of anyone interested in decreasing consumption, retiring early, saving money, and developing wortwhile activities.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Why would a 69 year old retired engineer review an "Early Retirement Extreme" book, well there are several reasons. This is a unusual book, a little hard to do a standard review, like in High School or College. It is a live book, which to me means that sections will be reread several times or scanned for highlighted text. It will go into my books to grow old with library.

I believe that most useful ideals in life boil down to what is often called "bumper stickers." These are usually simple saying that reflect cultural beliefs. Two of my bumper stickers are; "There is no predicting how long it takes for the obvious to become apparent." Also "Gold is where you find it."

ERE is an attempt to make the obvious apparent for those who read it. I think ERE is Gold.

What if an artist, magician, or Harry Houdini wrote a book on how they did what was thought to be impossible for an ordinary person to achieve. ERE is a guide book on how to put together your own life navigation plan, regardless of your age or retirement status. A bit of a Rosetta Stone that translates ones' education, work, training, etc. into a real world plan for living life more efficiently. It is not a list to copy, but a "how to manual" for "how to manuals."

I have been reading the ERE blog for over 2 years. The posts flow in a reasoned, logical manner, with complex theories explained, with examples from everyday life. Math avoiding readers would be comfortable reading this blog and this style of writing was extended to the ERE book. I believe ERE will become a classic over the next several years.
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