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Subject:  Re: Ten Mental Exercises Leading To Freedom Date:  4/10/2000  5:41 PM
Author:  hocus Number:  7749 of 876047

You are simply using examples to prove a point, and the principle does work, but I think you overstate vastly.

Thanks for your general comments on the original post, and also for challenging some of the examples. I did not mean for the numbers attached to the examples to be taken as precise estimates of the savings possible by cutting various types of spending. The amount that can be saved varies greatly from person to person. I was just trying to illustrate the princples at issue, and you seem to not have much objection with the principles.

Did I overstate the potential savings available? My best evidence for thinking not is my experience in cutting my own budget categories. I still have some of my earlier budgets and I remember how hard it seemed at one time to decrease my budget to figures that I now consider laughably high. Before I went through the process of rethinking all my spending, though, I would have agreed with you that savings of the type I now enjoy were not a realistic possibility.

One comes to believe in the power of cutting spending only by seeing the results. But many of us don't engage in the process at all because we don't believe that there is enough power in the idea to make it worth our while to devote much energy to it. My suggestion is to take small steps in the direction of saving more. Your ideas as to what is possible may change over time if you see some benefits from your initial efforts.

Do you really wish to retire and have the only change in your life be that you don't go to work every day?

I plan to continue working after reaching my Retire Early goal. My hope is to be able to choose low-pay but high-fulfillment work without any worries that this decision would cause any distress to my family. Once I have enough money to pay all basic expenses, I can give up corporate work without any pangs of conscience.

Others on the board have a variety of ideas as to what to do with their early retirement. Some want to spend more time with family, some want to do creative work, some want to smell the roses, some want to start their own businesses. The common theme is acquiring independence.

There's nothing wrong with developing an early retirement plan that allows for more spending after retirement than before. If one wanted to travel or take up new hobbies, that would be reasonable. I don't have many expensive hobbies, and have an interest in limited but not extensive travel.

If I make a spending cut and feel deprived of something as a result, I reverse the decision. I don't favor frugality that leaves one feeling less alive. However, I've made the happy discovery that many spending cuts leave one feeling more alive. It's a paradox, I know, but a happy one for me.

Thanks again for your kind words and for taking the time to offer a contribution to our board. I'm sure there are many that read the post who had thoughts along the same lines, and it is a benefit for board regulars to hear these ideas expressed. It would be dangerous indeed for us to talk only amongst ourselves and come to believe that we must be right because we never hear a discouraging word!

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