Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Viewing retirement options in a new light

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More and more I’m convinced that making a change requires first a change in how you view the situation at hand: the situation with respect to which a change is needed.

For example, in losing weight the most effective approach (short- and long-term) is to change your view of food and eating (and, probably, exercise as well). Obviously, making changes in how you view the world seems somewhat scary, though anyone with any experience in what is euphemistically called “the world of work” has done such a thing. In that context it’s called an attitude adjustment and it may be demanded by your boss or self-assigned. It occurs when you are handed a task or a work situation that you don’t like. You can quit your job (though often this is not a realistic option), you can make yourselves and others miserable by being more or less constantly unhappy with the job, or you can do an attitude adjustment: pull up your socks and set your mind to focusing on the challenges in the task and doing them well, making the very best possible out of a bad situation.

This is a change in your worldview with respect to that situation, and it’s exactly the kind of change required to lose weight effectively. People don’t like to face that necessity, so they focus on making peripheral changes: counting calories, or not eating starches, or joining a weight-loss club. These are changes that one can easily make with no effect on his worldview. They are changes without deep roots that will drift away because we have not made internal changes. They are the kinds of changes made by people who want to change without making a change.

But consider: if you’re obese and you don’t like the obesity and want a different sort of outcome, changes have to be made upstream. Food is part of the problem, but food is not going to change: it will continue to be food, and available. Let’s see, what else is involved? Why, we are—and that’s the very part of the picture that is under our direct control and that we can change when we want.

Once you change your view of food, you change your habits with respect to food, and the process itself takes care of the problem.

Trent Hamm, over at The Simple Dollar, reviews a book that takes a similar approach to preparing for retirement effectively: change how you view the situation. His post begins:

It was the subtitle of Jacob Lund Fisker’s Early Retirement Extreme that convinced me to pick it up. “A philosophical and practical guide to financial independence.” Intriguing enough for my eyeballs, particularly since the subject matter of the book seemed to be in line with my own experiences on what it takes to be financially independent, as revealed from the text on the back cover (which explains the book so well, I’ll just quote it here):

This book provides a robust strategy that makes it possible to stop working for money in less than a decade. It provides a shift in economic perspective from consuming to producting. Your value to society is not how much you earn or buy, but what you create and produce. Consumers are often forced to buy expensive solutions, but producers have the flexibility to create their own solutions at a quarter of the cost. The resulting savings are invested to cover the remaining expenses, resulting in financial independence.

The strategy can also be used to pay off debt, travel the world, volunteer, go back to school, or simply work without worrying about the next paycheck. It offers a compelling alternative to the default choice of getting a college degree, buying a house, filling the closets with stuff, and then spending the next 40 years paying it off.

In other words, if you focus every action – or as many actions as possible – in your life on producing rather than consuming, you’re going to set yourself up for lasting financial success.

It’s a very interesting perspective to have on personal finance as a whole, one that goes hand in hand with voluntary simplicity and frugality. Let’s dig in to see what else Fisker has to say. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 February 2011 at 8:42 am

Posted in Daily life, Fitness

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