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Early Retirement Resources 6/26/2023

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A few weeks ago, I shared an article touting the power of being flexible for early retirees. Today, I’ll share the counterargument to that point.

I share resources that address key financial planning issues. We’ll also take a look at what is working and what isn’t both at a policy level and for individual investors with regards to dealing with inflation.

Resources explore how much it takes most people to feel wealthy as well as some of the trappings that come with wealth. I’ll close with a look at why it can be so hard to change ingrained behaviors even when they no longer serve us.

The Other Side of Flexibility

I recently shared an article touting the power of being flexible for early retirees. Today I share a counterargument from Karsten Jeske. Flexibility is Overrated.

It’s worth taking a second to clarify why I’m sharing both of these diametrically opposed positions. It is important to understand different perspectives and draw your own conclusions.

Most people who reach financial independence quickly and can retire early, particularly FIRE types that are able to retire very early, have a hard time completely turning off everything that got them there. So you can build flexibility into your plans on both the earning and spending side, versus being rigid in planning a traditional retirement. Flexibility gives you multiple powerful levers to pull while minimizing feelings of scarcity that are common when shifting from a high savings rate to spending from a portfolio.

On the flip side, many traditional retirees and some early retirees I talk to have zero desire to ever work for money again. For those people, they can only be flexible on the spending side of the ledger. If you’re in this camp, you need to quantify and comprehend how “being flexible” with spending can impact your quality of life and for how long.

Financial Planning Issues

Allan Roth provides strategies to navigate tough financial markets, writing Don’t Let the Bear Ruin Your Retirement.

Alex Ortolani reports on new research that shows Emotional Needs Outweigh Financial for People Working With Financial Advisors.

Mike Zaccardi makes a compelling case for simplifying your finances, writing Coming Together.

Inflation

Jeanna Smialek breaks down what is working, and what isn’t, at a policy level to get inflation under control. Inflation Is Way Down. Is It by Design or Just Luck?

Jeffrey Ptak examines how poorly TIPS have been used by investors, writing The Inflation Hedge That Cost Investors 17% of Their Purchasing Power.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems?

Ben Carlson explores the constantly moving bar of wealth. How Much Money Does it Take to Feel Wealthy?

Nick Maggiulli explores how much is enough, and the cost of constantly pursuing more, writing The Liabilities of Success.

In the past, I’ve shared my love-hate relationship with FIRE blogs. On one hand, they inspired me to take control of my finances and transformed my life for the better. On the other, they often present this utopian view that if you optimize your finances, achieve financial independence, and retire early all of life’s problems magically go away.

I’ve committed from the day I started writing about FIRE to share our achievements AND challenges, our highs AND lows.

Along those same lines, I commend Carl and Mindy Jensen, both big personalities in the FIRE community. They chose to share their struggles with finding a feeling of security about having enough and gaining comfort spending money, both of which continuously eluded them even as their net worth grew.

They did so in a clearly uncomfortable and very public way, being interviewed by Ramit Sethi.

The video is embedded below, and here is a link to Carl’s blog about Why Ramit?.

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Valuable Resources

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  • Our Books

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[Chris Mamula used principles of traditional retirement planning, combined with creative lifestyle design, to retire from a career as a physical therapist at age 41. After poor experiences with the financial industry early in his professional life, he educated himself on investing and tax planning. Now he draws on his experience to write about wealth building, DIY investing, financial planning, early retirement, and lifestyle design at Can I Retire Yet? Chris has been featured on MarketWatch, Morningstar, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Insider. He is also the primary author of the book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. You can reach him at chris@caniretireyet.com.]

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