Paul interviews Jacob from earlyretirementextreme.com. (There is also a thread on Early Retirement Extreme (ERE) at permies.com). They talk about Jacob’s experience retiring at 33 (he’s 35 now), and how he got to that point.
There are different levels of “extreme” one can take, depending on what is comfortable, but, as Jacob says, “The point is to look at your entire life, deliberately.” Jacob compares frugality with a small focus to a mindset that is a little more practical. An example they go into is heating and cooling the house or office rather than changing how one dresses. Jacob mentions a Japanese approach of heating in which you create a warm space beneath your desk or table.
Paul labels this a kotatsu, and Paul mentions his article, I Cut 87% Off My Electric Heat Bill at richsoil.com.
Jacob and Paul discuss the “buy more” culture, and Jacob suggests a few ways to see past it. When people asked Jacob to write a book for someone still immersed in the consumer mindset, he found he couldn’t do it as he couldn’t put himself back into it. Paul shares his similar difficulty of relating to someone a few points away on the Wheaton Eco Scale. Paul and Jacob discuss how ultimately, the way we live our lives is a choice, and what is important is being conscious that it is a choice, rather than feeding into cultural programming.
Paul shares his story and frustration over paying interest on loans. He was tired of being a slave to his past choices and “the system.” The ERE book provides an exit strategy. Jacob has set up an ERE forum with a diverse crowd of participants. Paul asks for Jacob’s take on peak oil etc. They discuss silver and gold, and Jacob talks about the value of investing.
Jacob talks about growing into a mindset rather than quick what-to-dos. He also prefers a relaxed approach to things, and sleep–not worrying about what his stocks will look like the next day. Paul brings up the book, Mortgage Free and shares its philosophy. Jacob says that a good rule of thumb for investing is to determine your monthly costs, multiply them by 300, and that is the amount you need to invest. Paul shares about an article in Permaculture Magazine of a guy who went a whole year without money. He then makes the comment that after you retire, it’s still ok to make money. Jacob dislikes taking on things or hobbies that will have recurring costs. He would rather have more freedom than more costs.
You can discuss this podcast on this thread at Permies.
Podcast 617 – Oil and Water of the Mind – Part 2
podcast 409 – Listener questions – Part 2
128 – Rocket Mass Heaters, Money, and Permaculture
100 – CFL Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs
094 – Electric Heat, Peeing Outdoors and Permies.com
001 – Heat yourself and not the whole house and save 80% on heat
podcast 449 – Problem is the Solution – Part2
podcast 444 – PDC Wrapup