Early Retirement Resources 6/26/2023

Want To Reach FI Sooner? Join more than 18,000 others and get new tips and strategies from Can I Retire Yet? every week. Subscription is free. Unsubscribe anytime:

A few weeks ago, I shared an article touting the power of being flexible for early retirees. Today, I’ll share the counterargument to that point.

Online retirement resources

I share resources that address key financial planning issues. We’ll also take a look at what is working and what isn’t both at a policy level and for individual investors with regards to dealing with inflation.

Resources explore how much it takes most people to feel wealthy as well as some of the trappings that come with wealth. I’ll close with a look at why it can be so hard to change ingrained behaviors even when they no longer serve us.

The Other Side of Flexibility

I recently shared an article touting the power of being flexible for early retirees. Today I share a counterargument from Karsten Jeske. Flexibility is Overrated.

It’s worth taking a second to clarify why I’m sharing both of these diametrically opposed positions. It is important to understand different perspectives and draw your own conclusions.

Most people who reach financial independence quickly and can retire early, particularly FIRE types that are able to retire very early, have a hard time completely turning off everything that got them there. So you can build flexibility into your plans on both the earning and spending side, versus being rigid in planning a traditional retirement. Flexibility gives you multiple powerful levers to pull while minimizing feelings of scarcity that are common when shifting from a high savings rate to spending from a portfolio.

On the flip side, many traditional retirees and some early retirees I talk to have zero desire to ever work for money again. For those people, they can only be flexible on the spending side of the ledger. If you’re in this camp, you need to quantify and comprehend how “being flexible” with spending can impact your quality of life and for how long.

Financial Planning Issues

Allan Roth provides strategies to navigate tough financial markets, writing Don’t Let the Bear Ruin Your Retirement.

Alex Ortolani reports on new research that shows Emotional Needs Outweigh Financial for People Working With Financial Advisors.

Mike Zaccardi makes a compelling case for simplifying your finances, writing Coming Together.


Jeanna Smialek breaks down what is working, and what isn’t, at a policy level to get inflation under control. Inflation Is Way Down. Is It by Design or Just Luck?

Jeffrey Ptak examines how poorly TIPS have been used by investors, writing The Inflation Hedge That Cost Investors 17% of Their Purchasing Power.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems?

Ben Carlson explores the constantly moving bar of wealth. How Much Money Does it Take to Feel Wealthy?

Nick Maggiulli explores how much is enough, and the cost of constantly pursuing more, writing The Liabilities of Success.

In the past, I’ve shared my love-hate relationship with FIRE blogs. On one hand, they inspired me to take control of my finances and transformed my life for the better. On the other, they often present this utopian view that if you optimize your finances, achieve financial independence, and retire early all of life’s problems magically go away.

I’ve committed from the day I started writing about FIRE to share our achievements AND challenges, our highs AND lows.

Along those same lines, I commend Carl and Mindy Jensen, both big personalities in the FIRE community. They chose to share their struggles with finding a feeling of security about having enough and gaining comfort spending money, both of which continuously eluded them even as their net worth grew.

They did so in a clearly uncomfortable and very public way, being interviewed by Ramit Sethi.

The video is embedded below, and here is a link to Carl’s blog about Why Ramit?.

* * *

Valuable Resources

  • The Best Retirement Calculators can help you perform detailed retirement simulations including modeling withdrawal strategies, federal and state income taxes, healthcare expenses, and more. Can I Retire Yet? partners with two of the best.
  • Free Travel or Cash Back with credit card rewards and sign up bonuses.
  • Monitor Your Investment Portfolio
    • Sign up for a free Empower account to gain access to track your asset allocation, investment performance, individual account balances, net worth, cash flow, and investment expenses.
  • Our Books

* * *

[Chris Mamula used principles of traditional retirement planning, combined with creative lifestyle design, to retire from a career as a physical therapist at age 41. After poor experiences with the financial industry early in his professional life, he educated himself on investing and tax planning. After achieving financial independence, Chris began writing about wealth building, DIY investing, financial planning, early retirement, and lifestyle design at Can I Retire Yet? He is also the primary author of the book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. Chris also does financial planning with individuals and couples at Abundo Wealth, a low-cost, advice-only financial planning firm with the mission of making quality financial advice available to populations for whom it was previously inaccessible. Chris has been featured on MarketWatch, Morningstar, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Insider. He has spoken at events including the Bogleheads and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants annual conferences. Blog inquiries can be sent to chris@caniretireyet.com. Financial planning inquiries can be sent to chris@abundowealth.com]

* * *

Disclosure: Can I Retire Yet? has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Can I Retire Yet? and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. The site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Other links on this site, like the Amazon, NewRetirement, Pralana, and Personal Capital links are also affiliate links. As an affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases. If you click on one of these links and buy from the affiliated company, then we receive some compensation. The income helps to keep this blog going. Affiliate links do not increase your cost, and we only use them for products or services that we're familiar with and that we feel may deliver value to you. By contrast, we have limited control over most of the display ads on this site. Though we do attempt to block objectionable content. Buyer beware.


  1. You state the following introducing and linking a Morningstar article: “Jeffrey Ptak examines how poorly TIPS have been used by investors, writing…”

    In fact, the article is about TIPs funds not individual TIPs. At the end of the article the author suggests individual TIPs might be a better option. And in fact, they performed reasonably well during the period and somewhat different than funds with their inherent duration risk.

    1. Rob,

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

      You are correct in that he states this *might* give a *buy and hold* TIPS investor peace of mind, while also noting that it is more burdensome to administer. It’s important to note that individual TIPS do have interest rate risk, just like a fund does. So if you may have to sell the individual TIPS and rates go up, you would have to sell for a reduced price just like a fund. You are only protected from interest rate risk if you can buy and hold the bond until it matures. In any event, that was not my big takeaway from the article.

      IMO, the big take away is that TIPS are another example of investors rushing into an investment at exactly the wrong time because the upside sounded good, but they didn’t understand exactly how they work and the risk involved. As a result, many people bought TIPS right before rates went up and TIPS values (as with the prices of all bonds subject to interest rate risk) went down in proportion to their duration. I covered this before it happened when comparing TIPS to IBonds that don’t carry this interest rate risk. https://www.caniretireyet.com/i-bonds-vs-tips/


  2. Chris,

    The “feelings of scarcity” issue you touched upon is real. No matter how large your retirement fund “bucket,” if you retire for good, that’s all you’ve got. There’s a hole in that bucket representing living expenses, and the bucket level will likely decline over time.

    Personally, I don’t envy anyone who entirely exits the workforce. For me, getting paid for my skills (in my case, as a lawyer) is both energizing and flattering. I work in the tech field, and although I could join the FIRE ranks today (from a financial perspective), I would be sitting out the AI revolution (at least from an employment perspective). I can only imagine how people manage to stay stimulated and engaged without “work”; it’s not an attractive option for me.

Comments are closed.