“Work is a good and noble thing, something nearly every person ever born has had to do in some form, whether or not they were formally employed. [The point of this book is not to be anti-work but to] reclaim your life from our nonstop work culture so that you decide what role work will play in your life, instead of society deciding for you.”Tanja Heste
Work Optional: Retire Early The Non-Penny-Pinching Way | Tanja Heste
Tanja Heste retired from her high stress ‘career driven’ lifestyle at 38, alongside her husband (aged 41) to pursue a simpler life on Lake Tahoe. Heste blogged for many years about her careful saving and investing towards reaching financial Independence, and Work Optional is this the summary of this blog, distilled into a convenient and well edited book.
Work Optional forms a practical and insightful manual for early retirement. Heste first guides the reader to first address the reason of why – why would you want to retire early? She encourages you to visualise your ideal life, and how you would spend your time.
She then focuses on strategies for financial planning, boosting your income through the use of strategic job changes, side hustles and the gig economy. She explores confronting your spending habits and helps you understanding core concepts of investing and creating passive income streams. The key point is that if you grow your investments enough, work becomes optional!
“I am not going to tell you to eat rice and beans for every meal, to buy only foods for which you have coupons, or to give up lattes if you truly savor them. You’ll get more bang for your buck if you focus on the largest expenses first. The bulk of most people’s income goes to two things – housing and transportation. So start there!”
“If you can invest enough, eventually you have enough magic money or passive income spinning off of your invested assets that it covers all of your living costs, meaning you don’t need to work anymore, or you can work much less.”Tanja Heste
The last section is more of a reflection on work optional and early retirement. She addresses some of the psychological and social ramifications of early retirement, which is something not really many authors do. It can be a pretty scary time making the transition, which is why she explains the need for a supporting partner and friends on the journey.
“This isn’t about amassing wealth for wealth’s sake or slapping labels on every choice we make, nor is it about spending the most frugally or hacking the most travel points. This is about living our dreams. Making the very most of our limited time here. Seizing an opportunity that most people through history have never dream “Tanja Heste
Check out my book summary