Early Extreme Retirement Loses Its Biggest Proponent

A little over a year ago I wrote about my problems with a personal finance trend commonly referred to as “Early Retirement Extreme.”  It still remains a pretty popular post with a few comments from the movement’s most popular proponent, Jacob Lund Fisker.  Within that post and the subsequent 50+ comments I laid out the basic premise that I enjoy a lot of the amenities involved in modern life and that I would much rather focus my efforts on figuring out ways to pay for those extras rather than altering my life to be able to live off of $7,000/yr.  I never judged the movement but I literally couldn’t understand the desire to achieve it the ultimate goal.

Well it was quite a shock to read that Jacob has decided to end his retirement and go back to work,

Remember this post where I announced my retirement from my career? Well, I’m about to commit some “light ERE treason” and “retire” from my retirement. In particular, I’m going back to work, in particular employment. I got a job offer I can’t, that is, won’t refuse

It is within that post that he started talking my language.

Hence, what the site is really about is not “retirement” but financial independence. Thanks for understanding that.

While I will never understand wanting to live off of $7,000, Jacob is choosing to work and I completely respect that type of freedom (just like my financial hero).

His post seems to indicate he is going to be moving onto quantitative trading for an investment fund of some sort, so I am really curious how much his life will change when one year’s salary and bonuses will equate to 50 or so years of living off of $7,000 (at the minimum if he is good at it).  Can anyone say Lifestyle inflation?

Do you think the movement will lose some steam because of Jacob’s departure?

11 Responses to Early Extreme Retirement Loses Its Biggest Proponent

  1. Thats interesting – I didnt know he was going back to work – I think it’s important to note that he had the freedom to leave the workforce, and the option to get back in. Those without their finances in order dont have either choice.

  2. Given Jakob’s personality, I wouldn’t assume that his lifestyle will inflate in accordance with his earnings. It may go up a bit, but his philosophy seems to permeate everything he does. It’s not suddenly going to change just because he has a job with high earnings.

  3. I don’t think I’d enjoy living on $7,000 a year. I prefer to look for ways to increase income so I can afford to do the things I want to.

    • That depends on your purpose for the extremity and how you arrived there. If it’s a matter of working against what you really want, then it won’t last. But if the “extreme” thing is what you already want, there is no reason it must fail.

      I think that’s the case for Jacob. Most people think he’s crazy because they don’t desire that lifestyle and don’t think it’s ever possible to desire such a lifestyle. But Jacob did desire the lifestyle and it wasn’t extreme or depriving in his eyes. It was simply what he wanted.

  4. Keep up the great work. I definitely wouldn’t want to live on such a tiny income. This is why I diversify my income. I have a full time job and now two websites. I want to have the option to leave my full time job if I want….I don’t ever want to be pinned down at anything. I love the flexibility I have.

  5. I think that being able to say that you dont NEED to work is pretty empowering. If he’s working because he’s interested in challenging himself then that’s great.

    I do think that living on $7000 a year is really tough especially when there’s so much life to live!

  6. I don’t think this movement will die, it is in some forms exactly what I want. Complete freedom to do what you want. If it means sacrificing in some ways to obtain freedom in others, I would be okay with that. $7,000 a year though is too little for me… I’m willing to work and find ways to live a little larger and still make it work.

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