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Book Review: Work Less, Live More

Work Less, Live More
by Bob Clyatt

This is a guide to early semi-retirement. Why retire early? Let's make it clear. It wasn't about making a killing in the stock market and then spend the rest of your life fishing. It is about attaining financial security to fund your retirement so that your can spend more time with the family, pursue other field work where your heart is, or simply winding down from the insanity of corporate rat race. It is about pursuing a long, healthy and fulfilling life.

Much of the book cover the financial strategy to build up the nested eggs. The new idea isn't new. Spend less, save more, invest passively in a diversified portfolio and withdraw at a sustainable rate. He make many examples to illustrate his points and also listed numerous resources.

One thing that set this book apart from other investment advices is he has a scope of life time. Most financial news focus on the action to take today. But here money is a mean to achieve financial freedom, not for profit maximization. He also has an interesting take on children's colleague expense. Although it is a large expense, he said, it is finite and can be budgeted. Just think about this, compare life long health care expense, then colleague is really one time expense. This insight can only come from a scope of life time.

While financial issues constitute a large part of the book, you will find inspiration notes throughout. For example, about different ways of giving back, he said,

Even just being a good friend and readily available to your older parents or extended family is a way to give back.

It is very basic but it rings true to me.

For myself retirement is a distant thought. Nevertheless it tells me it is important to have a goal in life. If I plan for it today I might be able to have the freedom to pursue a life that I truly long for.

2006.05.27 [, ] - comments

 

Book Review: Free Agent Nation

Free Agent Nation
by Daniel Pink

So I have worked with a number of people we called contractors. I used to think this is just a different kind of job. They do it because it pays more or just because they are not able to land a full time job. But for author Daniel Pink, being free agent is really a lot more than a different kind of job.

In this book, he has portrayed the free agent movement as a profound social transformation. Fueled by corporate downsizing and the availability of affordable means of production due to new technologies, more and more choose to work for themselves rather than working for big organizations. It is a return to the social structure before the Industrial Revolutions.

The book has covered many practicalities of being free agents. It discusses the more flexible working schedule, different ways of networking, all the infrastructure one can use to compensate for the support of offices and then going down to the mundane issues like health insurance and tax code.

Knowing the practicalities help you gain confidence to tackle the new challenges. But the best of this book is to discover what it 'means' to be self-employed. To work for yourself is to be accountable and to be authentic. Often money is not the primary subject. Freedom to define one's goal, such as how to balance between work and family, can be more important consideration. Ultimately taking on these new responsibilities would empower individuals and to drive toward self-actualization.

2006.02.19 [, ] - comments

 

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