- 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: 297 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence 1st Edition
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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, CNBC, USA Today, US News & World Report, The Guardian, PBS Next Avenue, The Atlantic, and many others.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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Basically, reducing one's overall living expenses to a level where a smaller savings will support a work stoppage. Seems well and good, but the author's idea of living cheap is one-step above being homeless. Not the "retirement" most have in mind, I'm sure. I will grant that there were some useful bits in there (buy used, not new), but many suggestions were over the edge for most people (washing clothes by hand in a bucket). If you enjoy a life-style similar to camping you will probably find all of the suggestions worthwhile.
In addition, I was completely disappointed in the "investing" section. If you've already read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", you won't find anything new here.
Overall, the initial portion of the book is worth reading, but get it from the local library (one of the author's ideas for saving money).
This book reads as though it was written like a student, and the advice basically is to live like one. Fine if you like buying nothing, living in something that doesn't cost very much (for good reason), and sharing your kitchen with 10 other people (or better still, eating your employers lunch and not cooking at all). The writing style reminded me of my own, when I was 22 and thought I knew everything and was better (smarter) than everyone. There are more useful and readable books out there, and they are written by people with more life experience. Give this one a miss.
UPDATE JAN 14
I keep returning to this book. I've changed my mind. It's a different way of viewing the world, which takes some perspective. What's more extreme: cutting down your expenses to what say you lived on as a student (probably the happiest time of your life), and being clever about it, or putting on a suit and going into a hellhole day after day - for 30 years? Yeah it's radical. Can I do it? Who knows. Did I learn anything from the book? Yes I find it inspiring. You want to say **** you to the man? Well, make your choice. There's a continuum of choice. Everything comes at a cost. But at least you are aware of it. Most are not. This book explores what it takes to become financially independent quickly without great luck or ability. This is a financial and mental process. It also looks at becoming increasing self reliant as part of this.
It's worth buying. The blog and forums are also worth checking out.
Unfortunately the quality of the writing is abysmal. I mean awful, super awful. It is the worst kind of failed attempt to sound erudite by a charlatan. It wanders aimlessly, makes poor and broken analogies, throws in equations where none are necessary and that only serve to illuminate the author's inability to realize the limitations of his short background in theoretical physics as a metaphor for life. Think the "assume the horse is a perfect sphere" joke writ large into a verbose and poorly structured book. If you've spent anytime around physicists you'll know many of them fall into this trap and the author here is a particularly egregious example.
The book is a case study in poor non-fiction writing. It is as if the author went out of the way to take examples of bad writing from something like "On Writing Well" and featured them here. I particularly enjoyed his frequent use of the seventh or eighth definition of a word often in imperfect context when a simpler vocabulary would have not only sufficed but been more clear and appropriate. If you've read a philosophy book from the 1960's or 70's where the author struggles mightily to sound intelligent that will give you a gist for the writing style employed here.
I won't labor the point further. I will add that the little information contained is available in many more accessible and insightful sources throughout the web. The author has his own blog which suffers similar issues to the book but one might argue that it has less forced formalism to it and perhaps "sucks less" than this book. Still, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.
As a side note I did learn of my susceptibility to behavioral errors when reading this. It was clearly awful less than an eighth of the way through but since I'd bought the book I failed to simply recognize that as a sunk cost and instead wasted more time reading it. Near the end it was sort of like a movie featured in MST3K - so bad you have to finish it just to see if it has anything else cringe-worthy to offer. In that sense the book did not disappoint, some of the worst was saved for the end.
2. Buy a one way ticket to Africa
3. Live the tribal life
It is pretty close to the lifestyle this guy is suggesting, but you don't have to work hard and save for a few years. I think living off of 7K a year is still a little too much money this guy is spending. You might be able to learn a few things by watching the popular TV show "Extreme Cheapskates". Supermarkets tend to throw away food that are still good at the end of the night, so in reality, you can spend $0 on food. As what some of the bloggers are doing on his website, you can live from your car or even your office to save money on rent. All you really need to survive is buying some toothbrushes and soap from the 99c store and you should be good. In theory, you could really live off of maybe $200 a year.