Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Early Retirement Forum

Last week, a reader introduced me to Early Retirement.org, which is a forum whose members have retired early or are planning to retire early. The forum was started in 2002 and is free to join.

I thought the forum would be a good opportunity read about other people in early retirement, since there are only a few bloggers who have retired early. In addition, I also learned about how people were thinking about achieving their own early retirement.

Here's what I picked up from reading a few threads:

  • Above average understanding of financial matters. The posts showed that members have a very good understanding of financial and economic topics. While people did not necessary agree, the discussions were based on facts, data, and analysis. There was good independent thinking.

  • Regular people and regular jobs. Most of the people were part of the working middle class. I didn't read any stories of people taking early retirement due to windfalls, e.g. inheritance, successful business venture, etc. There was one person whose early retirement was helped by stock options from their previous company.

  • Frugality is a main theme. There seemed to be a number of people choosing to work at a job, live below one's means, save a lot, retire early and live frugally. That's not to say members aren't using other approaches. This just seems to be a popular way.

  • DIY investing is the norm. The majority managed their investments themselves, using low fee mutual funds. Many seemed to distrust financial advisors and thought asset based management fees were not worth the cost.
  • Overall, I found it was a good forum. There were some excellent points, good discussions and interesting ideas. For me, it will be a good resource to check periodically.

    For more on Ideas You Can Use, check back every Tuesday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or retirement advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2009 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

    1 comment:

    pfstock said...

    I thought that you would have already known about the Early Retirement Forum... In case you missed it, I wrote a post about Resources for Early Retirement a long while back. It lists a few other resource in addition to the early retirement forums.

    A little bit off topic, I also referred to a humorous and ironic post called Determined Californians! that I read in one of the early retirement forums. It gives one person's idea of a retirement plan.

    Lastly, did you ever read the book, "Cashing in on the American Dream" by Paul Terhorst? It is out of print, but if you're interested, used copies can often be found on eBay or Amazon.