This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
I recently read a very interesting article regarding heart disease – written by the past chief of staff and chief of surgery at a hospital in Arizona. Essentially what the article says is that much of what we have accepted about the cause and treatment of heart disease (a significant cause of death in North America) is wrong. What is generally deemed the cause of heart disease (elevated blood cholesterol) is not really killing people, meaning that having 25% of the population on statin drugs has not resulted in a significant decrease in heart problems.
What the doctor says is the mainstream diet (low in fat, high in carbohydrates) is causing repeated injury to our blood vessels, causing chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. This is the diet that we are being told to eat by people that are supposed to have our health in mind. For evidence, check out the Canada food guide or the American food pyramid and compare it to what this doctor as well as numerous other studies have found – our diet may be killing us.
Anecdotally, I think we can all say that this study is true – I know tons of people eating a low fat “healthy diet” and are unable to maintain a healthy body weight. Additionally, I know a lot of people (generally older) who are on statin drugs to fight high cholesterol – and now have low cholesterol but are in poor health otherwise.
I think that most people who read “Extreme” early retirement blogs have an outside the box mentality, which generally allows “us” to accept information which may not align with what the general population feels is correct. Reading articles like this, and questioning the status quo is not something new, but generally is where it seems that most people who would like to retire early start from.
I started my journey (which admittedly still has a ways to go) by asking if there wasn’t another option besides working until my late 50’s or 60’s. From there, I started reading and kept at it until I figured out a plan that would fit my lifestyle and lead to the maximum amount of happiness throughout the pre and post retirement time.
It seems that people outside of this community either haven’t thought about their retirement plans all that much, or just don’t push against the “normal” way of life in North America at all. In Tim’s last post for Moneyville some of the comments I read were almost laughable. The terms “unrealistic”, “cardboard box”, and “yeah right” were quite common. I’m not sure if the people posting were overly pessimistic, or just generally closed-minded but they definitely do not see the merits in early retirement.
Maybe I just generally like to feel like a rebel, whether it’s not following the general rule with food that defies the Canada Food Guide (my 4 day a week bacon habit does not seem to have any impact on my weight or overall health), or my retirement plans, which are significantly different from the norm.
Outside of your goal of Early Retirement, do you find yourself living a contrary lifestyle to most people you know?