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<<Hocus: No, the book is different. The book is "intercst is the greatest" on one page, and then "I really can't tell you enough how much I learned from this intercst guy" on the next, and then "you know, this intercst guy pretty much INVENTED the concept of early retirement" on the next, and so on.
>>


Much as I admire intercst, I don't think he would claim to have invented early retirement. But that does raise the question of who might be credited with having done so. And I'm talking retirement from a life of working and earning ---retirement by what might be recognized as the middle class.


I would throw out the idea that Benjamin Franklin should be our icon. After building his succesful printing and publishing business, and promoting a lifestyle of frugality as depicted in "Poor Richard's Almanac," He retired from his business at age forty or so to pursue "other interests," ranging from inventions like the Franklin stove and bifocal glasses to original discoveries in science to diplomacy and important contributions to the founding of the United States itself.

Who better could be a model for early retirement?



Seattle Pioneer
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But that does raise the question of who might be credited with having done so.

I would have to disagree on Ben Franklin being retired. He did persue other interests, but he worked awfully hard in birthing a nation.

Personally I would give credit to FDR. If it wasn't for his New Deal, people would not have had to retire at 65. While that doesn't sound early to us, back in the 1930s you worked until you died.

JLC
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I would throw out the idea that Benjamin Franklin should be our icon. After building his succesful printing and publishing business, and promoting a lifestyle of frugality as depicted in "Poor Richard's Almanac," He retired from his business at age forty or so to pursue "other interests," ranging from inventions like the Franklin stove and bifocal glasses to original discoveries in science to diplomacy and important contributions to the founding of the United States itself.

Who better could be a model for early retirement?


He also fathered children well into his eighties...without the benefit of modern medicine.

Ben was indeed, the Man.

ET
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Ben Franklin is a good choice. I wonder if he was more a afternoon and evening person as I am, more than a perky morning person. I recall a quote attributed to Mr. Franklin(or so I remember) which was "early to bed, early to rise, makes a person ......(can't remember), wealthy and dead.

ANy thoughts?

LuckyDog, not a morning person
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<<Mr. Franklin(or so I remember) which was "early to bed, early to rise, makes a person ......(can't remember), wealthy and dead.

ANy thoughts?
>>


Heh, heh! My recollection is that that recommendation came from Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanac" which he wrote and published. And according to my memory, the saying was "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."

According to a recent PBS documentary on Franklin, John Adams became very annoyed with Franklin when they were both serving as Amabassadors to France during the Revolutionary War. Franklin stayed up until morning at salon gaetherings of the rich and powerful, and didn't come into the office until the afternoon, while Adams showed up at the office in the morning. He found Franklin's departure from the wisdom of Poor Richard's Almanac annoying, even though Franklin was merely conforming to the local Parisian practices and was effective in his diplomatic efforts.



Seattle Pioneer
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Ben Franklin is a good choice. I wonder if he was more a afternoon and evening person as I am, more than a perky morning person --LuckyDog, not a morning person

I think a person can slowly train herself to be either. I have been both (evening person as a teenager and young adult), and overall I think morning is best for me, primarily because it feels like no one is up and about in the morning. I mean around 4 or 5am, or even 3am sometimes. The city is quiet; the country is quiet (quieter than usual even). You have the world to yourself.

I became a morning person extreme when I was a new mama and was reminded of that when inparadise and marygoodnight were talking about getting up and awake before the kids—having that quiet time for yourself.

I liked it and stayed that way until retiring and have been gradually getting up later and later and staying up the same. I miss those early morning hours though. I may have to retrain myself.
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I would throw out the idea that Benjamin Franklin should be our icon. After building his succesful printing and publishing business, and promoting a lifestyle of frugality as depicted in "Poor Richard's Almanac," He retired from his business at age forty or so to pursue "other interests," ranging from inventions like the Franklin stove and bifocal glasses to original discoveries in science to diplomacy and important contributions to the founding of the United States itself.

Who better could be a model for early retirement?


Actually, Ben Franklin followed the Art Reichert model. His wife (ever heard of her? I hadn't.) ran his printing and postal businesses while he was in France and England cross-fertilizing. She desperately missed him and wanted him to come home, but he only came back to America when she died and he had to come back to run the businesses.

Founding Mothers is a good book about the women of revolutionary times:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060090251/103-1966118-0989448?v=glance

Vickifool
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I know the exact feeling.

I was a night owl in college and the years afterward, when I was out socializing, worried I might miss something if I stayed home....LOL

Later, as a single working woman living alone, I slept in as my schedule allowed, but found myself a little lonely in the evening if I didn't have company.

After I got married and became a parent, I found myself getting tired earlier in the evening. Eventually, that led to me getting up earlier and earlier in the morning. Initially, it seemed uncivilized to me, but now I love it. It plays right into my contrarian nature.

I get up, check messages, read the paper, have tea, sometimes do mail or some writing. The world is completely quiet and all mine. I did much of my holiday shopping this year at 7AM - either online or when the stores opened for the earlybirds. The streets are emptier, the lines are short and I can park wherever I want. The people are nicer and we nod knowingly to each other and smile. It's like our little club and we have the city to ourselves.

In the evenings, I now have the company of my family and I like that.


I just put a pie in the oven - a new recipe, lemon buttermilk. If it turns out to be good, I'll post it.

Hope you're all enjoying the day.

MG
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I just put a pie in the oven - a new recipe, lemon buttermilk. If it turns out to be good, I'll post it. --MG

Yum. Lemon pie. Yes do. I won't bake, but I'll love reading and thinking I'm doing it.

I bought 2 slices of keylime pie yesterday for a special treat today and treated myself last night instead. Good thing I didn't buy a whole pie. Today I'm treating myself to Cole Porter's De-Lovely (how bad can it be) and some little household intrigue movie called We Don't Live Here Anymore. Yesterday I watched Collateral, Bourne Supremacy and The Station Agent and enjoyed all three. It's a movie holiday this year and I like it.

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cat - we must be on the same track. I just signed up for Netflix and received Collateral, The Passion of the Christ and We Don't Live Here Anymore.


I watched We Don't Live Here Anymore on Thursday. I didn't get much out of it, I mean anything you couldn't already get from an average soap opera, so I'm very interested in hearing your reaction.


Tonight it's a toss up between a poker game and Collateral. Either way, the vodka and cranberry will go down just as well.


MG
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< who might be credited with having done so. And I'm talking retirement from a life of working and earning ---retirement by what might be recognized as the middle class.>

That's an interesting question, SP. Since I'm interested in history, I hope you don't mind if I explore this a little.

Throughout history, with temporary exceptions, society was divided into a tiny elite "noble" class (which enforced its ownership of the land by violence) and a large poor population, usually serfs, tenant farmers, or slaves. In a few places and times, some farmers owned their own land (for example, smallholders in Republican Rome, yeomen in medieval England, and muzhiks in pre-Revolutionary Russia). However, these reasonably prosperous freeholders were the minority, and farmers can never retire; farming is hard, full-time work!

The non-farming middle class consisted of artisans, merchants, and professionals (such as blacksmiths, millers, doctors and lawyers). However, since few amassed sufficient savings to last for decades, and there were few opportunities for growth of invested capital, they also had to work their entire lives. There were surely a few working-class (not noblility) people who were successful enough to save enough to retire early, but it was a rarity.

To meet your definition, SP, a person has to be able to earn enough during his/her working years to be able to live off that money for the rest of their entire lives. You might want to include geniuses who worked their way from low status to high diplomatic honors (such as Isaac Newton and Franklin), but I'd rather consider the concept of early retirement for the "more average" person.

Early retirement is much easier, if savings earn interest or dividends. We all take this for granted. However, capital markets that enabled investment of savings existed in few places: the imperial Roman Empire, and post-Renaissance Europe. Even in those places, average working people had virtually no access to investment opportunities.

Furthermore, the interest and dividends that are paid to investors of capital require economic growth. The growth comes from increased production. While we take economic growth for granted, for the vast majority of human history, growth was zero. The only periods of economic growth >1% were the Roman Empire, and post-industrial revolution Europe.

In the Roman Empire, economic growth came from putting captured slaves to work. However, slaves aren't motivated to increase productivity, and there were no guarantees that a wealthy person wouldn't be ripped off by officials. Therefore, although the Pax Romana gave humanity 1000 years of economic stability (which benefited the population, other than the slaves), the Roman Empire didn't reach its full potential.

Significant economic growth (>2% per year) did not begin until several factors developed together:

1. The rule of law, including human rights protections and intellectual property (patent) law. Otherwise, inventors had more to fear from greedy authorities than to gain from inventions.

2. Development of an international means of exchange, such as letters of credit. This allowed increasing markets. The larger markets were able to absorb the increased production, making investment in expensive machinery profitable.

3. Development of means of distribution, such as roads, canals, and efficient merchant ships.

These critical factors all developed in England, in the mid-to-late 18th century, propelling England to superpower status in the 19th century, and the U.S. to unprecedented prosperity, beginning in the late 19th century.

In post-industrial revolution England, ever-more-efficient machines did the work of large numbers of animals and humans. Investment of capital in the factories (and in sometimes-risky trading empires) led to both growing fortunes, and the now-familiar economic panics that are endemic to free market capitalism (Isaac Newton lost a lot of money in the South Sea Bubble).

Opportunities for investing small amounts of money have grown exponentially, over the last 300 years. From the limited access outcry system of the London stock exchange, which originated in a pub, to more organized stock exchanges, to mutual funds and banks that accept small deposits, opportunities for small investors to earn investments and dividends have grown dramatically, especially over the past 100 years.

So, who can be credited with making early retirement for workers possible?

1. The founders of democracy, in England and the U.S., who protected the rights of inventors and investors.

2. The inventors of the industrial revolution, shipping, and international finance, who are still busy as beavers today.

3. The financial services industry, who have invented ways for small investors to reap the rewards of the growth in the economy.

4. The ongoing work of government to prevent fraud (the fraudsters never sleep!).

Without becoming a capitalist -- that is, getting interest and dividends from capital, that represent a share of the growth in our economy -- it would be very difficult for a middle class person to retire early.

Wendy

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Tonight it's a toss up between a poker game and Collateral.

Both sound good. I'll probably like We Don't Live Here Anymore. I even like lots of the Lifetime movies. I get right into them and they calm me. Funny, though, I don't like soap operas--would love to find one that I enjoyed every single day, but about the only thing I like is seeing what the women wear, and that lasts about a minute. If I liked them I could watch the Soap Opera channel any time I wanted, like the Cooking Channel, one of my favorite.

Collateral is good and exciting if you like action movies (I do), and so is Bourne Supremacy, and The Station Agent is a rare treat.
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To meet your definition, SP, a person has to be able to earn enough during his/her working years to be able to live off that money for the rest of their entire lives. You might want to include geniuses who worked their way from low status to high diplomatic honors (such as Isaac Newton and Franklin), but I'd rather consider the concept of early retirement for the "more average" person.

Franklin was a run away apprentice who started his own business and earned enough money to retire at age 42. His scientific and diplomatic career came later. Franklin always prided himself on his middle class roots and listed his profession as printer even after he was rich and famous. While far from being an average person, Franklin was a capitalist who made his fortune on the growing economy of the American colonies.

Regards,
Prometheuss

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not have had to retire at 65. While that doesn't sound early to us, back in the 1930s you worked until you died...........................



Ah, but in those days you stood a really good chance of dying before you turned 65.








Pete
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From SP: I would throw out the idea that Benjamin Franklin should be our icon. After building his succesful printing and publishing business, and promoting a lifestyle of frugality as depicted in "Poor Richard's Almanac," He retired from his business at age forty or so to pursue "other interests," ranging from inventions like the Franklin stove and bifocal glasses to original discoveries in science to diplomacy and important contributions to the founding of the United States itself.

I read a book about Ben Franklin about 2 years ago. I recall posting on this board that Ben was an early retiree, based on what I had read in the book. I recall someone disagreeing with me on that score, stating that people died much earlier then, so 40 or 42 was not really "early" retirement.

But it's nice to see that someone else has picked up on the same thought.

jtmitch
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Nah... I still think Intercst invented early retirement!
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Who better could be a model for early retirement?
Seattle Pioneer


John Kerry .... marry women with $200+ million
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Ah, but in those days you stood a really good chance of dying before you turned 65.

There in lays the problem with today's social security. IIRC, the expected life span in around 78. IMHO, that is when benefits should begin payouts.

JLC
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I recall someone disagreeing with me on that score, stating that people died much earlier then, so 40 or 42 was not really "early" retirement.

Another example of how most folks are dangerous with numbers. Life expectancies were in the 40's back then for a new born infant. That was because so many people died young. Once someone made it into his 40's his life expectancy was well over 20 more years. (Not all that much less than the 30+ years that it would be today.) In fact, life expectancy in ancient Rome was over 20 years for someone who lived to be 40. Given his relative wealth, Franklin could be expected to live for several decades. In fact, his major health challenge was gout.

Furthermore, life expectancy is the average. Many folks will to live beyond the average.

Regards,
Prometheuss

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Ben Franklin was not subjected to liberals and their confiscatory income tax schemes.
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I think a person can slowly train herself to be either. I have been both (evening person as a teenager and young adult), and overall I think morning is best for me, primarily because it feels like no one is up and about in the morning. I mean around 4 or 5am, or even 3am sometimes. The city is quiet; the country is quiet (quieter than usual even). You have the world to yourself.


Gosh... These days, 4am is my typical, "average" bedtime. <grin>

I guess we both like our "quiet" part of the day... only difference is yours is at the beginning of the day and mine is at the end.
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Gosh... These days, 4am is my typical, "average" bedtime. <grin>


Isn't it great being retired--we can make up whatever schedule we want. Last night a nightmare woke me at about 2:30am, and I mean wide awake. I was so glad it wasn't real that I decided to just get on up for the day. Got a little draggy midmorning but took a walk instead of going back to bed and now it's evening and I feel fine. Maybe I did that to myself on purpose since I was thinking of shifting my awake hours anyway to more early morning and fewer late night. Ideally I would like to get up around 5am and be in bed by 10 and asleep by 11. Then an after lunch nap of an hour or two. Perfect.

Someday I'll try your rock star schedule andrew61. I have a retired acquaintance who stays up until 3 or 4am most night/days and gets up about 10 or 11, sometimes not until noon, with sometimes a small nap after dinner.
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Actually, Ben Franklin followed the Art Reichert model. His wife (ever heard of her? I hadn't.) ran his printing and postal businesses while he was in France and England cross-fertilizing. She desperately missed him and wanted him to come home, but he only came back to America when she died and he had to come back to run the businesses.

Founding Mothers is a good book about the women of revolutionary times:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060090251/103-1966118-0989448?v=glance

Vickifool


Molly Pitcher is my 5 greats back great grandmother, on my dad's side. She was actually German, Pennsylvannia Dutch. - Art
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Both sound good. I'll probably like We Don't Live Here Anymore. I even like lots of the Lifetime movies. I get right into them and they calm me. Funny, though, I don't like soap operas--would love to find one that I enjoyed every single day, but about the only thing I like is seeing what the women wear, and that lasts about a minute. If I liked them I could watch the Soap Opera channel any time I wanted, like the Cooking Channel, one of my favorite.

Collateral is good and exciting if you like action movies (I do), and so is Bourne Supremacy, and The Station Agent is a rare treat.
catmeyoo


I loved "Shipping News" with Kevin Spacey. It's one of my favorite movies. Judi Dench is also in it. It gets two thumbs up from me! - Art
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I think a person can slowly train herself to be either. I have been both (evening person as a teenager and young adult), and overall I think morning is best for me, primarily because it feels like no one is up and about in the morning. I mean around 4 or 5am, or even 3am sometimes. The city is quiet; the country is quiet (quieter than usual even). You have the world to yourself.

Gosh... These days, 4am is my typical, "average" bedtime. <grin>

I guess we both like our "quiet" part of the day... only difference is yours is at the beginning of the day and mine is at the end.


When not tied in with the work world I seem to drift into 28-30 hour days. +/-

Both as a young person welding sculupture and again now that I am responsible only for myself.

My daughter dropped by the other day and and said an old lady across the street asked her "Did Ted die?" Maybe I need to crank up the music a bit. Might be too quiet!
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Ben Franklin was not subjected to liberals and their confiscatory income tax schemes.

Ben Franklin WAS a liberal - back when the word meant one who supported liberty, rather than one who supported tight government regulation of practically everything like Parliament was trying to do to the American colonies.
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Yum. Lemon pie. Yes do. I won't bake, but I'll love reading and thinking I'm doing it.

I bought 2 slices of keylime pie yesterday for a special treat today and treated myself last night instead. Good thing I didn't buy a whole pie.


Catmeyoo,
Key lime pie is the easiest thing in the world to make. Seriously.

Get key limes or key lime juice. Get a pie crust and bake it if it needs that. Get Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (the kind with the sugar already in it.)

Put the Condensed Milk in a bowl (or maybe a big measuring cup.) Add some lime juice. Stir. When it starts to thicken a little, pour it into the pre-baked pie crust.

I've had this before and it's great!

Vickifool
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Key lime pie is the easiest thing in the world to make. Seriously.

Thanks Vickifool. I think I could actually manage that, especially if I already have a pie crust I don't have to bake. I think I've seen those in the store somewhere. Few dishes to do afterward too. Those boxed ones are certainly good though, and I don't even like pie.

Speaking of citrus, I love lemons and limes and like to squeeze them into ice water when I remember. I don't even mind the concentrated plastic things. The only thing that is a little annoying about the fresh is that I cut a slice and then the rest of it sits on a plate on the counter until I get it used up and every time I go into the kitchen I see it and think it is a dish I need to wash. I am going to shop for the perfect container and then work a bunch of squeezes into my daily routine. It will be my New Year's Resolution.


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Cat, I have two words for you: Lemon Curd. Buy it in the jam section and when you have a hankering for lemon pie, dip a spoon in for a lovely burst of lemon.

No bake no fuss yumminess.

IP
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Cat, I have two words for you: Lemon Curd. Buy it in the jam section and when you have a hankering for lemon pie, dip a spoon in for a lovely burst of lemon.

No bake no fuss yumminess. --IP


Good suggestion! If a Hershey Kiss is more satisfying than a 2-lb. box of chocolates, and for me it is, a teaspoonful of lemon curd may do the trick. I can overeat just about anything and still feel good, but not sugar. It makes me mean and evil.

--catmeyoo, who still wants a little taste now and then

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catmeyoo; check out www.gourmetfoodrecipes.com/ Robert Rothschild has some really yummy stuff. If you go to the sweet toppings, they have lemon, key lime, and pumpkin curd.
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I can overeat just about anything and still feel good, but not sugar. It makes me mean and evil.


Hey, me too! I can experience some really nasty mood swings when I overdo the carbs. Either that, or else I just zonk out and fall asleep for awhile...
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