I received the following e-mail today:
- From: David Down
To: Ernie Zelinski
Received: Sunday, December 4, 2011, 4:00 AM
You said you liked hearing from people, so here I am. I have bought most of your books, so I guess I have contributed to your joy of not working.
I guess the main lesson you give is that is possible to scrape by without a job. You have done it, although it would appear you don't own a home or have really much savings for retirement. And as you have said, you're not such a good writer.
I am like many who buy your books; looking for an exit from the drudgery of it all. The trick is of course how to do that and still have a roof over your head and be able to do some of things you want to financially. In Australia at least homes are very expensive. The less fun jobs allow you to pay off the home quicker, even if you buy a modest one.
I think once I own somewhere I would be happy to live for a long time, I'll be in a better position to take risks.
This was my response to David:
- Hi David:
Thanks for reading my books.
Yes, I am not a great writer and yet my books have sold 700,000 copies worldwide. This has helped me with my retirement planning.
Actually, I did scrape by financially for a little while, living at or near the poverty line, but I never considered myself poverty stricken.
I actually semi-retired when my net worth was MINUS $30,000. (due to student loans).
People say that can't be done but I proved that it can be. To be able to this one has to play in a realm that is about 3 levels above the majority and one in which the majority don't want to play in.
Regardless of the fact that I have worked ony 3 or 4 hours a day for many years, I am better prepared financially for retirement than most people my age.
I purchased the half duplex that I rented for 28 years in 2007. I placed a $163,000 down payment and a mortgage of $162,000 on it. I promised that I would pay it off in 5 years. I actually paid it off in 4 years. Although the half duplex is worth only about $285,000 now since the drop in house prices, I am not concerned. My home was never part of my retirement plan. I have always maintained that a house is a consumer item and not an investment of any sort. People who think a house is an investment and an important part of a retirement plan is a dummy. The house crash in the U.S. proved that this is the case.
I also have saved about $400,000 for retirement because when I started making decent money about 7 years ago, I saved 50 to 60 percent of my pretax income. Saving only 10 percent of one's income is for amateurs and sissies.
My strategy on how to do this is covered in my book Career Success Without a Real Job: The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corporations.
Many thanks and so long for now,
Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and Prosperity Life Coach
Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 150,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
(Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)
Here is another reason why house prices will not recover for years: U.S. Echo Boomers Have Little Interest in Home Ownership.