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Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?
Old 07-17-2003, 05:36 PM   #1
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Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?

Is anyone familiar with this book - although my goal is to retire early - I'm in my mid-thirties and I'm still 10 to 15 years away.

I think I'll burnout if I don't take some kind of break or go to part time status.

I haven't been able to locate this book through my library - I can try an inter library loan - but they charge $5 - and I'm wondering if it's worth it.

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Re: Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?
Old 07-17-2003, 08:55 PM   #2
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Re: Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?

I hadn't heard of that before. says it's out of print. Here's a link:

Don't Ever Retire-But Do It Early and Often

Here are a couple of links to a list of possibly relevant book reviews from the Retire Early Home Page:

(Re: _Rich Dad Poor Dad_ reviewed in the first link: I bought and liked this book at first, but if you'll follow the link under that review there are some important things to consider before taking this book's advice.)

Burnout is a frustrating thing. I've toyed with the idea of going part time or 'semi-retiring', but in my case it's probably very unwise.

I burned out at 30 (I'm 33 now), quit my steady job and went to an IT startup company that promptly went bust. I took 3 months off, but I didn't cut enough spending first and wound up running my debt much higher, and I probably set myself back 2 or 3 years finanically. On the other hand I became much more humble (which can be good), and during the time off I learned a lot about personal finance and business and job hunting.

Full time jobs and careers aren't fun, but they're the most common way to earn money and save for early retirement.

I was just reading a web site a couple of days ago about a family that lives in Washington or Oregon; the guy runs a one-man carpet cleaning business, and the family lives on his income, but he takes lots of time off for vacations. I thought I found the link on the REHP site, but I can't find it now. I know I bookmarked it somewhere; I'll post it if I find it before someone else posts it. He write a lot of essays, many of them about his relatively low income lifestyle and his fun and travels.

Guys like that and a couple of "ski bums" I've met have very interesting low-income lives. The ski bums usually work as ski patrol in Colorado during the winter and take odd jobs like raft tour guide or archaeological dig helper in the summer. (When an oil company hits archaeological artificats, by law they have to call in a team to excavate the site; usually a university does it and hires locals to help.)

However, I think I'm a bit too spoiled to having spending money to make it part time. And as far as I can recall, everyone who's retired or near retirement who's posted here got there by either saving a lot or earning a lot in a short time and the drastically cutting spending. I haven't heard of a long-term semi-retired person here yet. So I'm guessing my best bet is to follow in their footsteps.

Also, if you take some time off, be aware that it may look bad when applying for a job. I had the worst time finding a job after taking 3 months off. Of course the IT industry had just crashed, but I had good solid experience, a 2-year degree and technical certifications and wasn't even getting called in for interviews. I really think the 3-month gap disturbed employers.

This post got much longer than I planned, but I also wanted to talk about burnout some more. If you're burning out, plan ahead. Either deal with it and adjust or make sure you can handle what happens when you leave your job. I put the cart before the horse and left without getting rid of my expensive truck and paying down my credit card debt. I also didn't have a very secure job lined up. It can be much cheaper to adjust your attitude before quitting your job. Read up some on burnout; some of the causes surprised me (uncertainty/instability, for example), and there are ways to deal with it before it consumes you. It probably wasn't wise to quit my job when I did, but my attitude was getting worse and I knew I was going to get in trouble sooner or later because of it. Get control of it before it gets that far.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.

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Re: Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?
Old 07-18-2003, 04:07 AM   #3
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Re: Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?

I'm not going to climb on my soapbox, but do have some observations about "burnout" and extended semiretirement.

I believe that the stress level I endured for years
is responsible for the various chronic health problems
I have now. Could be just age but I don't think so.
The ironic thing (with hindsight) is most of the stress
was self inflicted (Type A - workaholic). I semiretired
10 years ago. I would have retired completely then, but I was doing
it on a shoestring, figuring I would need to work part time for many years. Luckily, an opportunity
popped up and I went back to full time work about
8 months after my official semiretirement. Stupidly,
I immediately reverted to my high consumption/high maintenance lifestyle. But, I got lucky again because
4 years later (1998) when my last employment ended
(I have already told that story), I crunched some numbers and saw that with just a little more planning
and a tight budget I could hang it up for good. Which I did.
I may be typical in that my semiretirement was
relatively short, but I know I am quite atypical in the
way that I finally did manage to retire. I recommend
my "system" to no one as I had no system. In spite
of my lack of a plan, I'm pretty
intelligent and I got lucky. That's it.

A final thought. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
The price of a successful early retirement is the same.
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Re: Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?
Old 07-18-2003, 01:37 PM   #4
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Re: Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?

BigMoneyJim was talking about John Andersen. is his web site. It will take you a while to read through all of his articles.
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Re: Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?
Old 07-18-2003, 04:47 PM   #5
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Re: Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.
Big Money, I don't think you are on a soapbox. I think this is a very wise and experienced post. I also burned out, long about 1980, and have done ok since, by working a little, watching money as best I can (but I spend on food what a lot of families on The Motley Fool Boards claim to) and being good or lucky with investments.

But if I could have cured my burnout, and gone on in my career, I could live larger, which I admit looks better to me than living frugally. I guess it's another instance of "horses for courses."

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Re: Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?
Old 08-18-2003, 07:09 PM   #6
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Re: Don't Ever Retire - Joseph Schwartz?

I'm not familiar with this book but would like to comment on my personal view of retirement. I'm a 54 year old scientist who taught community college foir 2 years and then worked for the same industrial company for the past 30 years. I had a massive attack of burn-out last year and almost hung it up then before it hung me up. Anyway, after coming through that experience I am definitely older and perhaps a bit wiser. My work situation has changed such that about 90% of the stress I was under has been removed and I now plan is to work full time until age 55 and then go into semi-retirement for 1-2 years. This plan has the benefits of giving me more time for family, friends, travel, and various projects while still providing sufficient income that I will not have to dip into my retirement stash. It also gives me some time to "let go" of the workplace in 2 stages rather than going cold turkey all at once. I'm very fond of a number of my colleagues and enjoy working with and helping them. Still, one must do what is best for them and retiring early looks like it to me. This way I have the chance to try some aspects of retirement without taking it on all at once. Many companies are supporting the idea of their older workers gradually reducing their work hours rather than simply quitting or retiring. This allows their employees to change to a more comfortable life-style while at the same time continuing to provide the benefit of their experience and knowledge.


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