Book Review: How To Retire Early and Live Well

Book Title: How To Retire Early and Live Well With Less Than A Million Dollars
Author: Gillette Edmunds
ISBN: 1580622011
General Subject Matter: Early Retirement, Retirement

How To Retire Early and Live Well With Less Than A Million Dollars is a book that was ahead of it’s time. Saving money and retiring early have been all the rage with a number of bloggers, like Early Retirement Extreme and Mr Money Mustache. ¬†Gillette Edmunds retired early in 1981 and according to his book tripled his net worth over the next two decades.

Gillette recommends diversifying amongst stocks, bonds, international stocks, real estate and private businesses. Overall I think this is a valid method, some holes I see in his presentation is the returns from stock appreciation he quotes is a little high, as well as interest rate assumptions(remember his point of reference was the 80s when savings accounts were paying high interest rates compared to today).

Does this invalidate his whole book? No, I do not think so. It simply means to retire early you need a large nest egg to accommodate for the lower interest rates available in today’s environment.

One of my favorite chapters was towards the end of the book where Gillette discusses how to mentally survive and deal with markets that are going down. Obviously this creates stress when you see the money you are living on going down as investments fall. Having the mental strength not to panic and make rational decisions is important.

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