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August 19, 2013


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Tom Sightings

It's s true that financial independence brings you a degree of freedom. But there are more ways to achieve that than retiring. One way is to find a job you really love; another is to practice a profession or a craft that is really "you," or to make enough money off your hobby to supplement the income you get from your capital.

Or, you can be rich. Which, as Steve Martin says, is not that hard. First, he says, get a lot of money ...

fred doe

This dude don't makes sense:) When he says "government assistance" please tell me he's not talking about social security. ( I smell a wacko libertarian) And if your saving money? Then why oh why would someone want to take on a $350,000 mortgage? Tom sightings: I like what you posted but to para phrase "if every one in the world got paid the same, what would you do" (trite I know). Money just gets you better options. But aside from that syd are you enjoying New York? There will be time to sleep when you get back to the west coast:) Again retirement options.

Retired Syd

Tom: Gotta love that Steve Martin!

fred: Yep, I can sleep when I'm dead.


I think Evan makes a lot of great points. I have never heard the expression "live like no one else now, so that you can live like no one else later", but that is worth remembering and certainly repeating to one's children.

My father set that example for me. When all of our friends and neighbors were buying a new car every few years, he drove a Studebaker (this was the 1960's) for over 16 years...and saved his money. He has been retired now for over 34 years...and has enjoyed every minute of it.

I suppose some would argue that one should "live large" while one is young enough to enjoy life, without the health and other issues that come with age.

Obviously, there are several ways of looking at life. Whatever we decide, we have to be willing to live with our decisions.

Kelly @ Try New Things

Great that you are thinking about retirement now. I retired at 55 and friends think it was way too early and ask me why do I not want to be working still.

I have lots of good reasons to answer that including the small things like enjoying my day on my own schedule, travelling the world (on a budget), exercising every day,sleeping in and having my coffee and reading on the porch until ten AM, freelancing on my own terms.

Financial independence also depends on enjoying whatever you earn and not having debt. I felt like I was working and yet every year, I was no further ahead, so it just made sense to exit with what I had.

Evan @ Financial Independence

Thanks for the link Syd, much appreciated. I'm more than happy to answer any questions readers might have regarding my thoughts or process, however to answer a few comments:

Tom - I definitely agree that retiring isn't the only way to achieve freedom. I don't aim to be financially independent just to retire, in fact I would expect to always be working in one form or another - it's having the choice to not have your job dictated by money that I aim for.

Fred - You may have misunderstood my sentiment behind this paragraph. I do not receive any social security, nor do I ever expect to. My point is that many people retire on government assistance after a lifetime of work. I am aiming to not only reach the point of independence (which many have failed at) but to do it in a much shorter timeframe than the average 40 year career. I believe that if you aren't willing to help yourself, then why should you expect others to help you.

Steel - I believe that the quote was originally from Dave Ramsey's 'Total Money Makeover'. To be honest I have never read the book, I learnt the quote from a friend who has over $1m of investment property at the age of 28. He would use this saying to remind himself that the sacrifice he makes now benefits him later.


Wow, that an early age to start thinking about retirement. When I was 25, I just wanted to have fun with my friends. Well, I maxed out my 401k contribution and saved a bit more, but I never thought I'd be retired at 40.
Anyway, good luck. I'll drop by and visit now.

New at this

Its not complicated. Its Friday morning and I'm at home in my boxers with my wife. Not sitting in traffic to go to an office. But if I wanted to go sit in traffic, that option is still available.

Retired Syd

New: Sounds like you're enjoying yourself so far?

Sandy Qusiepen

Thanks Syd. I enjoyed reading the post. To me financial independence means you can choose not to work and have enough to live on for the rest of your life. If you choose to work part time or turn a hobby into a money supplement, it is an option you choose that can enhance your lifestyle. When I was in my 20's and 30's, I was paying off my debts and putting a little away for my nest egg. I think Evan is way ahead in terms of planning for early retirement.


I wish Evan well. I made retiring early my goal at age 31. I originally was shooting for age 40 but didn't make it until age 45. That was fifteen years ago and I have no regrets. As I've said before in this space, I keep busy with a wide variety of volunteer work, which I find more fulfilling than I did my career. And, yes, my goal in retiring early was "freedom": the freedom to do what I want rather than what I must.

Banjo Steve

I still like the "best of all worlds" idea of getting paid to do what you love to do. The first 35 years of teaching were glorious - with the excitement of getting a paycheck, too (meager as it was, my benign sense of frugality allowed me to accumulate $). The last five years, though, had me more than glad to retire at age 61. Now I can't believe how much I don't miss the structured teaching, as I find new ways to encourage and support kids in my retirement/redirection/rebooting.

We all have our own particular techniques for happiness (or lack of).

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