Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence 1st Edition
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I am not a financial expert, pretty silly about it all actually, but what I think Jacob is suggesting makes perfect sense. In this book, rather than focus on tactics, Jacob focuses on strategy and the underlying principles that guide economic behavior in a consumer-driven society.
What I like about the principles in this book is that they are scaleable. Meaning, you can be as extreme or not as you would like to be.
The idea is that more money invested early, in larger sums, will ultimately equal more interest to live off sooner. Sure, one can invest 10%-15% of their income over the course of a 30 year career, but one could also invest 75% of their income over the course of five years. How does one invest 75% of their income? By extreme living.
There are several conceptual models presented in this book that make a lot of sense. The idea of "tight coupling" resonated with me due to personal financial circumstances. I am a salary man and while I have some "slack" in my coupling, there is not much room between my salary and needs.
A complex system has many points of failure, but is also- or can be- resilient. Consider a person who has several income streams. Yes, one of them could fail, but if it does, the other streams continue.
If you can get through the first half of the book, which does seem strange at times, it all comes home in the end. Ultimately, there is a logic to what Jacob is suggesting in his book and it makes sense when you arrive. What he presents is based on sound mathematics and several graphs are provided to help with the narrative.
Anyway, I do believe this book could be better written with the common man in mind. It's a challenging read and I think one needs a reasonable intelligence to process it. I understand why several of the one star ratings rated the way they did. They did not get it, or, it did not conform to their financial strategy.
Incidentally, I think this book pairs nicely with Your Money or Your Life. YMOYL is a much easier read and in many instances shares similar content.
Succinctly, if you are reasonably sharp, oriented toward extreme living, and think like an engineer, physicist, or mathematician, I think this is a perfect book for you.
It's for those who want to read what is essentially a college textbook on how to use systems thinking in order to maximize your savings and your happiness.
This book is a detailed, well written, well organized, manual. It teaches you how to think like a "renaissance man", meaning someone who has the skills, knowledge, and fortitude to survive and thrive no matter the state of the economy. It was tremendously empowering because it helped me realize that I am not destined to be buffeted about by the winds of the economy, but can take personal control over my life no matter my circumstances.
It takes principles most commonly used in permaculture gardening and applies them toward designing a human life. If you want to eliminate waste, invest more efficiently, and gain new perspectives on everything from diet to home improvement, this is a must read. It really opened my eyes to the idea that with a high enough savings rate, anyone can retire in about 5-10 years, even if they don't earn a lot of money. Tremendously empowering!
Top international reviews
Any reader will find something to argue with in the text, but this is not only to be expected, it is a necessary aspect of setting out a path which challenges the assumptions according to which so many have run their lives for so long - and to so little benefit.
Read, enjoy, challenge yourself, and reshape your life!
The first few chapters were the most interesting and relevant to me as they're more about how your money and spending relates to you and your happiness instead of the old unrealistic
'save 90% of your wage yet be miserable as anything and feel deprived making you loaded but then because of this fail and go and spend that 90% anyway as every person is different'.
Then the rest of the book kind of talked about math, stock markets & things that weren't really relevant to the average English person.
That's why I've given it a 3 really. Great points in the relevant chapters.
If you haven't come across the author before (on his blog or the handful of podcast appearances), reading this will be quite the swallowing of the red pill. You owe it to yourself. Fair warning, once you look behind the curtain, you can't pretend you don't know what's behind the curtain.
Comprehensive and very clearly written.
In conclusion. If you're looking to retire early or simply gain more knowledge on your own finances, this book is a good read that will leave you with an overall view on how personal finances are treated in the traditional sense and how you can manage your own better.