Early Retirement Extreme Review – Day One

This book changed my life! For the next couple of posts I’m going to be dropping my notes from the personal finance classic Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker. I’d actually categorize this as a personal economics book because it’s so much more than money, it’s really a holistic view of one’s life structure.

More personal thoughts will be in bold below in the outline. For those that want to listen to The Brothers on Books Podcast discussion with Jacob I’m attaching the link directly below:

Chapter 1: A Different Frame of Mind

  • People get into a lull!
    • I feel like I start getting on autopilot occasionally and later I become frustrated because I don’t feel like I’m getting enough done or working towards important things, like becoming more financially free to spend times on things I love and being around people I love
      • Monotonous routines do this and days start feeling like seconds
  • Early education was about test taking, learning secondary
  • Few ask, “WHY?”
    • WHY do we live in house and not a boat?
      • My wife does not want to live in a boat. I have brought this up in the past. We could eliminate debt by doing this.
    • WHY we use money instead of favors and/or promises?
      • AND why would we work so hard for money where the government can just go to the back room and print?
    • WHY is career development important
      • Lately I’ve started wondering why so many start out conversations asking what the other person DOES. It’s kind of weird that we identify so much with a profession/job. One man’s opinion but I prefer to ask, “where are you from?” I find this more interesting and if the person answering wants to weave their way into their profession that’s fine.
  • I love how he sets the tone for the book by introducing the idea of Plato’s Cave. I inserted a link to a YouTube video that explains it. It touches on some fundamental questions that we really need to think about. How do we know what we know? And how do we know what’s true?
    • Ray Dalio, in his book Principles, had a great way at reframing one’s mind. He said instead of thinking/saying, “yeah I’m right”, start asking yourself, “how do I know I’m right?”
  • Compares getting out of consuming to running a marathon
  • Jacob is proposing that one should cross train for a new lifestyle by completing something hard (PHD, marathon, etc.)
    • When I read this originally three years ago this idea gave me added motivation, and a feeling of commitment, to finish the actuarial exams. I thought it would make me a more robust person.
  • Change can come from a shock to the system (heart attack, family death, job loss, etc.)
    • Losing my job in 2016 was literally the best thing that ever happened to me. I started reading voraciously to try to figure out the truth on my own and it feels like I get a dopamine hit every time I feel I’m getting a bit closer.
  • Change can be influenced by thinking of a three dimensional space with Dissatisfaction, Practicality, and Vision being on the three axes.

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