Weekend Reading: Early Retirement Backlash Edition

I consider my financial freedom 45 plan to be aggressive, yet attainable. Reaching financial independence at a relatively young age requires discipline, sacrifice, and a lot of savings mixed in with a dash of frugality. But my plan pales in comparison to certain members of the financial independence / early retirement crowd who aim to leave the workforce in their early-to-mid thirties.

That’s the story behind CBC’s profile of Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung, authors of the Millennial Revolution blog. The couple ditched the idea of home ownership in pricey Toronto and instead used the $500,000 they saved to pursue their own idea of financial freedom – travelling the world and working on projects that inspire them.

Much like Sean Cooper, who paid off the mortgage on his Toronto home in three years, Kristy and Bryce drew the ire of readers who criticized the couples approach as ‘selfish’.

In a strange twist it turns out their financial advisor is notorious Canadian housing bear Garth Turner, who says he’s now fielding a bunch of phone calls from Millennials who are looking join the Millennial Revolution. There’s only one problem:

“I don’t create millionaires out of latte-sucking entitled kids craving retirement and work-life balance. Stop calling.”

Money Boss J.D. Roth, who achieved financial independence when he sold his Get Rich Slowly blog for millions, says we should be celebrating these success stories, not denigrating them.

“This young couple made some out-of-the-box choices. They acted as money bosses. The decision paid off. Sure, they enjoyed good fortune with their investment results, but so did many of us from 2010 to 2014. This couple’s story ought not be unique; it ought to have been the norm for personal investors during that time span.

A Wealth of Common Sense blogger Ben Carlson weighed-in on what it takes to retire early. He says you either need to save lots of money or have very little need for lots of money.

“Unless you inherit a boatload of money, there really is no secret for early retirement. There are no life hacks that will make it easier. It takes sacrifice and it’s certainly not for everyone.”

Perhaps what some of us really need is to give ourselves permission to make a big life change. We’re too cautious when it comes to big changes, but studies show that we’re generally happier when we take a leap of faith. That’s why Carl Richards is taking his family to New Zealand to live and work for the next 12 months.

This Week’s Recap:

On Monday I explained why I chose a 2-year fixed rate mortgage.

On Wednesday Marie wrote about the dollar store boom and what items cost less at places like Dollarama.

And on Friday I explained why University students should probably get a credit card.

Many thanks to Josh O’Kane for including my advice in his Globe and Mail column about whether to pay off student loans or save for a downpayment.

Weekend Reading:

These Money Pros liked how I acted as my own mortgage broker and shopped around before negotiating renewing with my existing bank.

The case against home ownership? Rob Carrick interviews an author who says renting is a beautiful thing.

Death to the single family home? A UBC sociology professor says single family homes are overrated and harmful to health of the city.

This blogger says debt motivates her in a way that savings never could.

Here’s how to cut your phone bill (and your clutter).

The latest Carrick Talks Money: How can I tell how good my workplace pension is?

Two Alberta men turned their layoffs into opportunities, each creating their own business.

Tim Cestnick explains four ways to transition out of business ownership.

What investors need to know about the active versus passive management debate.

This scoreboard may have you thinking twice about holding actively managed funds.

A classic math vs. behaviour decision. Investing a lump sum – should you do it all at once or over time? 

Jon Chevreau on why he won’t defer his OAS past age 65.

It’s harder now to save for retirement – so we have to invest smarter.

Frugal Trader answers a reader question: I have $1M networth – what’s next?

Adam Mayers talks to one driver who received a $600 car insurance surprise.

The Greedy Rates blog shows how to increase your credit card rewards by ‘stacking’ two cards.

Finally, Squawkfox blogger Kerry Taylor is known for making frugality and consumer savvy sexy, delicious, and fun. She’s also battling depression and wrote a courageous post after her psychologist asked if there were any positives that came from her depression. Thanks for writing this, Kerry.

Courage, it couldn’t come at a worse time.

Enjoy your weekend!

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  1. Joe on August 21, 2016 at 4:41 am

    I really don’t understand why everyone’s getting all hot and horny over these two. They’ve done a great job. This could be anyone……if you have 2 good incomes, no kids, invest in index funds and live like hobos.

    Nice round up Robb.
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Peter Crisp on August 21, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Nice nod to the Tragically Hip.

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