It's been a while since my last book review, to be completely honest, I've simply been too busy sit down and finish a book. The book that I've most recently completed is called "Why Swim with the Sharks? – An unconventional guide to early retirement". The book is Canadian based and describes how it is possible to retire EARLY with much LESS money that you think.
I've always been intrigued by the idea of retiring early, and when I say early, I mean before 55. Is it possible? Do you really need the millions of dollars that the financial press and calculators tell you? How does someone know when they're financially ready to take the plunge? This book answers all of those questions.
Main points made by the book:
- The 70% of pre-retirement income needed to survive during retirement is, for most people, false.
- Before you retire early, all debt (mortgage, loans etc..) should be paid off.
- If your debt is paid off, you may be able to retire on 30%-50% of your pre-retirement income provided that you don't have an extravagant lifestyle.
- Expenses after retirement are MUCH less than you think.
- Live well and retire broke.
- Enjoy your life while you are still young and healthy enough to enjoy it.
What I liked?
- I enjoyed the practical examples on how someone could retire on a lot less.
- The scenarios on how a retired couple making $25k / year are doing just as well as a working couple making $120k.
- Explanation of the risks involved with CPP (Canada Pension Plan) and OAS (Old Age Security) in the future. In short, CPP should be safe for the foreseeable future, however OAS is more questionable where it is paid out by the existing tax base.
- Worksheets in the book that help you figure out your personal situation and when you "should" be able to retire based on your savings.
What I didn't like?
- The book didn't talk a lot about investments and assumed a very conservative of return of 3%-5% during retirement. I guess it's better to err on the conservative side when planning for retirement.
- To account for inflation, they said that retirees should simply spend less. Is this practical if retirees are already on a tight budget?
- During retirement, especially EARLY retirement, I predict that my wife and I will actually spend MORE than we currently spend because of all the extra time on our hands. The work sheets in the book don't account for this.
Who should read this?
- Anyone who is considering early retirement and wants to figure out what is involved.
- I give it two thumbs UP! Great book that is written clearly and flows nicely which makes it an extremely easy book to read. They suggest some valid strategies for those who are interested in leaving the rat race early and living life like what you want it to be.
- I've added this book to the MDJ Must Read Books. I believe that the local library should carry this book, but if not, you can order it from Chapters/Indigo for around $16.50.