Friday, July 30, 2010

Hurry up and wait

The other day, Google Reader recommended an article from a website called Early Retirement Extreme.  I enjoy the thought of early retirement, both for me and my husband, so I poked around a bit.

Basically, to achieve the financial independence necessary to retire significantly early, this website suggests you live like a hobo for five or so years so you can then live like a pauper.  Seriously.  You're supposed to get rid of your car, even if it means walking a couple miles in the snow to work.  I'm sorry, I just don't like snow that much. You also should have a kitchen with basically nothing.  Most of it is camping equipment, naturally.  Heaven forbid you should like to cook things crazy things like cupcakes, because chances are you're not going to have the equipment for it. And if you enjoy entertaining, you should use paper plates, or have them bring their own dishes.  Classy.

His suggested diet is oatmeal, lentil soup, and tuna salad.  That's it.  Buy everything in ten pound bags!  Then if someone invites you over for dinner, even the most boring meal will be new and exciting.

Let's hope your hobbies don't involve any kind of supplies, because they're out the window.  I'm not sure what that leaves; bird watching, maybe?

It goes on and on.  I think it's ridiculous.  I appreciate being thrifty--we've been doing an awful lot of it, and I doubt that will end soon, if I want to stay home with a baby someday--but this is ridiculous.  I don't want to give up all joys in life for the next five years so that I can then not work (but still have no joy in life).  Sometimes I like to go to the movies, or buy a book.  I enjoy having specialized kitchen equipment that allow or facilitate the cooking of more complex things.  I like eating different things for dinner each night, for crying out loud!  Sure, much of the world eats rice and beans (as he points out) but it's because they can't afford anything else.  I'll retire a year later so that we can eat bacon during the next five years.

Is working SO TERRIBLE that you need to live like a miser so that you can stop doing it? It's not like once you quit your job you'll have tons of money for trips to the south of France. Not only do you not have a paycheck, but you don't even have insurance or 401(k) match or any of the other benefits of a job.  It just seems like he's rushing into something that isn't that great.  I'd rather work longer and have a more comfortable retirement.  You know, one where I can have a car or candy from a vending machine.

Maybe it works for some people.  I know I wouldn't mind getting rid of some of our stuff (how many DVD players do we need in the spare room closet?  Zero. How many do we have? Two.  Also two VCRs.) but I don't want to move to Walden Pond.  I just want to weed out some of the things I don't use.

I would like to have a garage sale, but I honestly don't know if I have enough stuff to make it worth my while.   I saw someone's "online yard sale," which was basically a Blogger site with an entry for each item. I could do that.  I guess I could give it all to charity and take the deduction, but it would also be nice to have the cash now, rather than in March.  Everyone says eBay, but I really don't have the time or inclination to deal with that.  There's craigslist and KSL, too, which at least doesn't require me to find a box to ship stuff in.

I dunno.  I just feel antsy.  It looks like we will be moving out of state for a while (I had an entry about that which apparently I never actually posted), though we still don't know when, which is driving me bananas.  (Sing with me. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.)  Actually, we should be moving thrice--once to Arizona, then to California, then back to Utah.  Everything is working out so far, although there are still a couple hurdles before we know for sure. That should be next week, hopefully.  Full of hope-y.

Of course, if we're going to be gone for a year and a half or so, we basically have to sell the condo.  The FHA loan means we can't use it as a rental, and heaven knows I don't want to deal with being a landlord.

So.  Anyone want to buy a lovely two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath condo?  Or know anyone who does?   If we have to pay realtor fees, I doubt we could ever sell it for enough.  But if we did a non-arms length transaction, we could sell it for less.  Really, everyone wins.  Seriously, we're going to need to sell.  Would you be interested in a post depicting the various highlights of our your future abode?


  1. Whoa - so much information in one post. I don't know where to begin. Except with the most important - to me - when and where specifically are you moving in the California direction?

  2. It is kind of all over the place, isn't it?

    We'll be going to Monterey in approximately n+28 weeks, where n is the number of weeks before all of this actually takes place. So, it will be a while.

  3. So why are you moving to CA and AZ?!? Details Cathie! and house pics too!

  4. So you'll be here when I have the baby!!??


Be nice.