This post is mainly to brag: I got quoted in an article on Marketwatch about early retirement! First off, here's the article: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-no-1-book-you-need-to-read-if-you-want-to-retire-early-2019-05-29 They clipped my book review, so I put the full thing below. Also, it turns out I've read a few of the other books they link, so here's reviews for those ones, too.
‘Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence’ by Jacob Lund Fisker
My number one pick for the early retirement book to read is Jacob Lund Fisker’s Early Retirement Extreme. The title is apt – Fisker himself is an extremist, spending less than $7000 each year and retiring at age 33! The book focuses mainly on lowering consumption and increasing your own personal skill set – learning how to fix a printer instead of just buying a new one, or buying leather boots that you can resole instead of buying a cheap pair that you’ll have to replace. For a world plagued by overconsumption, materialism, and greed, Fisker’s no-nonsense blueprint for getting out of the rat race is the perfect antidote. Light on investment specifics and heavy on the philosophy behind financial independence, it is a great book to inspire us towards enjoying life’s experiences without having to work until age 65.
'The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life' by JL Collins
JL Collins is one of the top financial independence bloggers for a reason - a clear style and interesting anecdotes make this book an easy read. This is a good introduction to the concept of early retirement and financial independence.
‘The 4 Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferris
I loathed this book. A mishmash of obvious platitudes and obnoxious bragging about real estate deals and ugh just ugh.
‘The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime’ by MJ DeMarco
This book has its share of obnoxious bragging, as well, but at least there is actionable advice given. I especially liked how he breaks down the spectrum of passive to active income. This was a book talking about scaling to develop wealth before scaling was a thing. Not sure how it's held up over time, but I enjoyed it when I read it a decade or so ago.
‘The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Rich’ by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
This was one of the first books that really piqued my interest in finance. The message itself is pretty repetitive: spend less, save more. However, the anecdotes and data make this book interesting enough to recommend. We grow up being blasted with the message that being rich means spending lavishly. But the real definition of a millionaire? It's someone who didn't spend a million dollars.
It's clear that I enjoy books that focus on living a simple life without having to spend so much on luxury goods. My focus for the new year is going to be community - building the relationships around me - and there's no amount of money required for that. But I do also have a new year's resolution to read one book a week, so if you have any recommendations, please send them my way!