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March 07, 2010


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Jay Horowitz - Our Take On Freedom

Thanks for the shoutout and addition to your blogroll - we're flattered!

Talking about time as a currency, it's been funny for us to hear how our mini-retirement length has been growing. We first started talking about taking a year off, which then grew to 1 - 1.5 years... which grew to two years off. Now we're at the "two to three years off" stage. It's been driven by a combination of happy net worth stats and our realizing how valuable this - and all - time is.

To living well!


What's up with some of those commenters on Grace's post? Some seem like bitter freaks?


My goodness..Seems that Grace has been completely brainwashed into thinking that all good things must cost $$$.

I am continually surprised how people equate $price$ with value..


The commenter on Grace's post obviously doesn't get it, probably because he is mentally deranged working too many hours. Hats off to you Syd for retiring early. I can't wait to join you!

Retired Syd

@Jay: Hmmm, well we'll see if that continues to grow, huh?

@Sara: Just to clarify, it wasn't Grace's comment (definitely not her style). It was someone named anonymous on her blog.


Retirement to me means means leaving an abusive boss. When I found an article on abusive bosses, of the 10 characteristics, he had 7 of them. He was an emotional bully, and by the end I refused to be in a room alone with him. I had worked there for 30 years, under other bosses, and loved it. I would give up some "luxuries" for the luxury of never having him hurt me again.


Wow that was a strange antagonising comment!!! I'm with you 100%.... what could be better than having a home to relax it and cook and do what you want! Hotels are nice for very short periods of time I find...


Ugh! "Anonymous" on Grace's blog comes through as angry and bitter. The negative tone sure sounds familiar... ;-) Some people just fixate on the glass half empty, don't they?

House-swapping or other means of saving money on travel does not mean one is "broke" as Anonymous assumes. Since when can only "broke" people go to "free" events? What's wrong with looking for bargains and getting more bang for your buck? I love the challenge of saving and will do this no matter how much money I have at my disposal.

One of my blogs focuses on "living well" in retirement, so I definitely agree with your viewpoint, Syd. I retired at 58, but hope you will continue to inspire others to do it even sooner. Kudos to you!


Being broke, or almost so, isn't necessarily the opposite of living well. Again, it is what you value. In the mid-70s my husband and I both worked to pay off all debt except a small house payment and to build up a small stash of cash. We quit our jobs and hit the road in an old van my husband had "customized" for us and our five-year-old son. We spent about six months van camping in U.S. national parts, national forests and other inexpensive or free campgrounds. We were surrounded by natural beauty and met wonderful people. We treasure the memories.

Chad @ Sentient Money

Broke? Ha! This is the same person who probably purchased a 50 inch plasma back when they cost $6k, then dumped it 4 years later for the $3k LED TV, and is now eagerly awaiting the $5k 3-D TVs coming in the next year or two.

Also, is staying in cramped hotel room, that costs you $300 a night, really better than getting an entire house for free? I don't care if I'm worth $20 million or $20,000, I'm taking the house. Can we stop teaching how to memorize in school and start teaching critical thinking skills...please.


I really like your thought-provoking posts.

fred doe

hail syd; you have the best blog on the inter net. what is the most valuable thing that you have? answer, your time here on earth. i've been retired for 2 years now and it keeps getting better. i even make more money through part time work and investments because i have the time to research but that's another time.

Leon C

Poor Grace is another victim of Madison Ave marketing. Madison Ave determines and defines success not the individual. As one matures, I found that I don 't need to buy the latest gadget to be happy. Keep up the good work, Syd, I get more satisfaction in scoring a good vacation deal on line than mindlessly spending $ 500/night at a 5 star. I recently rented apartment with a kitchen in Florence, Italy, shopping in the local markets and cooking my dinner, lived like a local.

Drew Harrison

Retirement is a brand new life to live in, and it may be harsh to some, but for others, it'll be manageable. My friends' elderly relatives are pretty different, due to the fact that they can take the transition of the hardworking life to finally taking it easy LIKE A BOSS! I even accompanied them to various retirement communities in Plano, TX to get a feel on what will occur to me in the future, just for kicks.

Cara Larose

I agree with Drew. Retirement means that you'll start a new life without worries. People are working hard to ensure that their future is secured once they decided to retire. There are many things to do like starting a new business, looking for new hobbies and even fixing your broken relationships.

Moira sutherland

I have been retired for twelve years but I am only sixty one. Tonight I am sitting watching the sun go down outside my motorhome in sunny Spain I have been here for over a month and loving it. My next stop is Portugal. My husband and I do this on the grand sum of £250 a week. You do not need vast sums of money to live the good life just a bit of forward planning

Retired Syd

Moira: Congratulations on such an early retirement. It sounds like you are doing it right! To your continued good life!


I have spent the last few days pouring over your blog and am thoroughly enjoying reading about your transition. I quit several years ago to follow my husband on a few international assignments (which are great!) but now I'm ready for him to retire and come play with me. Unlike you, though, I could not resist getting another dog - in fact I got two (they were together at the shelter and who could resist?)

I am just commenting here to say that I don't know how you put up with some of the nasty comments that you get. What is wrong with some people? Why would they read a blog dedicated to early retirement if they don't agree with the concept?

Retired Syd

Sunny: I appreciate your comment -- thank you for joining the conversation! It is more fun when you have a playmate, so I can see why you're anxious for your husband to join you. But then you have TWO dogs, so who in the heck needs a husband!? I am often tempted to get a dog again and feeling the pull especially hard lately.

As to the negative comments, thanks for your your support. The truth is, 90% of the nasty comments come from one person (that uses a few different names)--a fellow blogger, and she has really laid off lately, so it's much better now.


Wow - you have a nemesis! I guess that is something.

Yes, when we decided that instead of quitting we will be going to Poland for 2 years I decided to get the dogs. One is 13.5, hopefully she will enjoy her retirement with me! (the other is only 2)

I'm not complaining about the international living, we make the decisions together, its just that having to live our lives around work demands and limited time off is frustrating when we've been planning for early retirement for years. We're only in our early 40s, we have time... but I can feel the clock ticking.

Progress Lighting

Well for me, retirement and living well means I have freedom. Freedom on doing things that I want to do because I can enjoy my life even without working for years because I have wealth. And I can get that through financial prowess. It is not about how much you have, it is what you do with what you have.



I stumbled upon this blog while googling "How to quit your high paying job". It seems many posts only talk about one aspect of this, that is to reduce your footprint and quit your job (mostly to have no huge liabilities but no assets either!).
I understand the frustration of Anonymous and I think his comment is important to this topic of discussion. Alot of us has been conditioned to believe that being able to afford more equals more happiness "If only I can afford to buy that, go there, own that - then I will finally be happy".
Going to an expensive hotel is not a very rewarding experience because most of the time you are thinking "I have to maximise my enjoyment for the amount of money I am shelling out" which puts pressure on time you are supposed to relax! On the other hand, it can also be de-motivating to not be able to do something you really want to do just becasue of financial constraints.

I would like to see a post discussing how to balance securing financial independence for yourself and your kids, and at the same time get paid in time to do what you love - the sweet spot between selling your time for money to secure your future and not working for the money.

Retired Syd

Johnny: Thanks for your comment. This is a pretty old post, you might find it interesting that Anonymous has come around on this issue. Here's her blog: http://thriftyat60.blogspot.com. Her blog is devoted to frugal living.

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