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Early Retirement Extreme

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  • Early Retirement Extreme

    Has anyone read this book or followed the blog by Jacob Fisker? The ideas sound intriguing (especially for someone with ~$300K debt) even if I may not follow all of them. I just wanted to see if there were any personal experiences in his writings. Thanks!

  • #2
    I forgot to post the links to the blog and book:

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


    • #3
      I have read the blog and some of his guidelines, what he does, etc....but seriously some of it is just ridiculous. The guy makes his own laundry detergent for crying out loud! There is no way that is economically profitable or reasonable, there are many many items today that simply cannot be made/produced at the price you can buy it for and that is before considering your time involved.

      Its unreasonable for a high earning professional and unnecessary. Get the big things right, or dont get them terribly wrong at least and it will be fine. He enjoys certain things like making detergent, its more than just frugal, plus you literally have to be retired, have so little money your afraid to spend anything, and bored out of your mind (or really enjoy those things) to do it. Thats a hard pass for almost everyone on this site.


      • #4
        I have perused the blog in the past and was immediately turned off. I actively avoid "extreme" philosophy or regimen, be it is politics, religion, exercise, diet, hobby, or any other interest or way of life. I just lack discipline or commitment, I guess.

        I would name my approach to FIRE something bland like Early Retirement Moderate or Not Too Early Retirement.

        Do whatever you legally can do to eliminate your debt and hasten your financial independence, but no need to go crazy.


        • #5
          Wow!  I have heard of him but never visited the blog.  I consider myself fairly frugal for a doc.  I spend more than 7k on my dogs.


          • #6
            we have a doctor and he makes his own soap.  there are many days he smells terrible.



            • #7
              Now this is hilarious!


              • #8
                We physicians have good enough brain cells to get into medical school, residency and possibly fellowship. We can use it to earn good money and live within our means and invest wisely. By doing that we can avoid these extreme drudgery of doing things like making soap at home. Maybe we can have one or two hobbies where the time invested may not be worth it financially (for me it is changing the oil in my car or assembling computers) but it gives me a certain peace of mind for those couple of hours. But doing everything in life to try and retire early and stay retired early - no way.

                That is why I also don't visit the Money mustache site. His version of frugality does not jell with me. And he is so frugal that he cannot pay a good web master to bring his site to 2017. His site is struck in the 90's Netscape look.


                • #9

                  we have a doctor and he makes his own soap. there are many days he smells terrible.
                  Click to expand...

                  I have a patient whose brother does these semi large scale making of soaps at his home. He has laundry detergents that he says are identical to Gain, the hand wash soap that is the same as Dial, and shampoos and conditioners and dish washing soaps that are knock offs of popular store versions. I don't think that he has brain cells to reverse engineer those soaps.

                  But his main selling pitch -all items come in a gallon bottle and priced just $5 each. So my front desk, biller, MA and nurses order from him and swear by its efficacy. One time my wife got suckered into buying some laundry detergent from him. But soon afterwards we switched to new front load washers and did not want to harm that with these unknown Gain knockoffs. Back we went to Costco Kirkland detergents, which come on sale regularly.


                  • #10
                    Fisker's ideas call this Afford Anything excerpt to mind:

                    Sure, if you’re trying to save money, you might benefit from melting your soap slivers in the microwave, until they recombine into a disappointing soap bar of sadness.

                    Imagine that you want to retire in 10 to 15 years. Should you spend your time:

                    • Learning how to invest?

                    • Doubling your income?

                    • Building a side business?

                    • Blasting your limiting beliefs?

                    Or should you spend your time:

                    • Coupon clipping?

                    • Saving the wax from melted candles?

                    • Obsessively opening/closing bank accounts for sign-up bonuses?

                    • Stacking rebates on top of gift cards on top of promo codes on top of cash back rewards?

                    • Sewing fabric scraps into holiday wreaths? (Just kill me. Please.)

                    Sure, coupon-clipping offers a slight marginal benefit. You’ll save $4 on a stick of butter.

                    But at what cost?


                    Paula Pant can turn a phrase. Fisker's ideas strike me as a disappointing soap bar of sadness.

                    Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.


                    • #11
                      Really household cleaning products are not a big enough spending category to make any significant effect on your goals.  If I did not buy any of these for one year my spending really would not change.  Go after big items.


                      • #12
                        SMH -- that's a bit much -- any physician doing this, have to wonder what perspective that they have with their patients.



                        • #13

                          Stacking rebates on top of gift cards on top of promo codes on top of cash back rewards?
                          Click to expand...

                          This is my gold standard.  Don't judge me.


                          • #14
                            Early Retirement Extreme advocates yearly spending in the $15,000 to $20,000 range, in which case you would need a nest egg of around $500,000. I applaud anyone who can actually accomplish that, but it's not realistic for the vast majority of people.  I consider myself relatively frugal, spending around $60,000 per year.  Reducing that to $15,000 per year would negatively impact both happiness and freedom.


                            • #15
                              It's interesting to read stuff like this from time to time, if only to explore the theory.  I'm not going to live like this but some of the aspects can help give a new perspective.  I view it as more entertainment than advice.

                              I'm glad this guy is out there doing it just so we can see one end of the spectrum play out in real life.