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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 59102  
Subject: Re: Is Early Retirement Environmentally Correct? Date: 2/6/2007 10:01 AM
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The problem is that if you invest that money, and especially of you invest that money well, you wind up with sharply more money to spend over a lifetime. When I add up my lifetime earned income and compare it with my net worth, I find my net worth today is something like five times my lifetime earned income.

But it isn't true. Most people who are "savers" are always savers, they don't suddenly change attitudes when they retire. And even for those who allow themselves more "treats" after retirement, those treats don't necessarily include the use of large amounts of energy/resources. For example, someone who wasn't into fast, powerful cars in youth, young adulthood, or middle age, is very unlikely to suddenly get interested in fast, powerful cars in retirement, early or not. Similarly, someone who lived in a 1500-2000 sq ft home for all his/her working life, isn't very likely to suddenly want to live in a 4000-5000 sq ft home in retirement.

Just guessing (since he's never reported his own numbers) but with much greater investment success than I have had, intercst might have twenty or thirty times the net worth to spend as he has had earned income.

But it isn't relevant at all, intercst has clearly described his life to us, and he doesn't do such things. He still lives in a $540/mo apartment rather than a 4000 sq ft house using far less energy than he could "afford" to use, and his major use of resources appears to be driving across the country a couple of times a year, but I'd still bet that, overall, he still drives less than the average working American. Perhaps another use of resources would be using golf courses that require large amounts of water. For the most part, his is a life of conservation, not waste, even with the millions of dollars at his disposal.

Just because someone has the money to spend, and to "waste" resources, doesn't mean that they do so.
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