-Written by Cel
This has been a crazy week for us – in addition to a front page story on The Province (and cross-published to the Edmonton Journal), coverage on Huffington Post Canada – we also got a (brief) live interview on CTV’s national news broadcast during primetime coverage! Someone at work told me that our story is tapping into the cultural zeitgeist, and I have to agree that our story really seems to have resonated with people all across the country.
We’ve also had some backlash; some people have objections to what we’re saying. There seem to be four main ones:
1. Co-op housing is unrealistic, and if you didn’t live in a co-op you could never save money.
It’s true that there are very few co-op units relative to the population of Vancouver. Of course, if more people were interested in co-op living, then the number of co-ops would increase proportionally.
However, that is not really relevant – even if we were not living in a co-op, we’d simply be renting a relatively cheap apartment in the West End or another area downtown. In fact, when we moved to our co-op 3.5 years ago, our rent actually increased as a result! We moved to the co-op for reasons other than financial, such as: stability of housing situation, community, and downtown living.
Even if we were renting a $900 apartment in the West End, then it simply means we’d be paying an extra $80 a month each – which would have very little effect on our finances.
2. Your life must suck / will suck after you retire
This objection seems to revolve around the point that if you don’t eat at restaurants or drink alcohol, your life must suck. We don’t do those things, but here are some things that we do:
-Local and international (mostly international) travel
-Dungeons and Dragons (an ongoing weekly campaign)
-Hanging out with friends
You might be thinking that symphonies or buying video games cost a lot of money – but that is not the case. For example, we buy discounted symphony tickets, and here are my strategies to keep my video game costs low.
As for post-retirement, we plan to do a lot of slow travelling, where we live somewhere for a few months at a time, in a proper apartment, soaking up the local culture. Since we have no obligations, we can travel by the cheapest method, etc. We also intend to pursue our creative passions like writing and other hobbies.
3. You’re lying!
This seems to be more from people who have not visited our blog and seen our financial breakdown. However, there have been some people who insist that we must be lying, even after being provided with figures. I had one person claim that I was lying about paying $28 per month for Internet – even after showing a screenshot of my invoice!
Of course, as our blog readers, you would already be aware of what our numbers are and how they work.
4. Lastly, we’ve seen a few people say that they would never want to retire at 40, because they want to have kids, or buy a home, etc.
The beauty of our lifestyle and the practices we advocate is that it’s not limited to early retirement. We understand that many people don’t want to retire early.
What these people don’t understand is that no matter what your goal is, if it requires a lot of money, then being frugal can only help. Whether you want to buy a home, or be a stay-at-home parent for a few years and raise a family, cutting expenses and living frugally can make that dream a reality.