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5.0 out of 5 starsMight Be Life Changing
Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2018
Really enjoyed this book. That said, I'm probably exactly the target demographic. 47 years old. A little unsure of my future. Not completely satisfied. The stories are inspirational and the advice rock solid. Already working on incorporating some of these ideas into my life. Also, while I've been working on financial independence for years, finally realized all the ways I've been shooting myself in the foot. Worth it for that reason alone!
I'm well on my way to my FIRE number and heard the ChooseFI podcast with David. Brad singing the praises of the book as one of the best, if not the best, he's read on the topic sold it for me. I'm 67% through the book according to goodreads and have to say that this a fantastic synthesis of the recent wellness themes with a healthy helping of FI. He covers minimalism, mindfulness, with a good baselayer of FI to really help someone a little further along reset their mindset and their life. Well done.
5.0 out of 5 starsan enjoyable and powerful introduction to FIRE principles + how-tos
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2019
I had been reading some FIRE blogs and saw this book reviewed on another site. It was good timing as I had been seeking some reading that would be a good jumping off point for formulating my own next steps in terms of finances, living, career, etc.
This definitely fit the bill. I loved the author's conversational tone and accessible approach, which was highly relatable and also made for enjoyable evening reading. This is not a boring personal finance book - nor does it require any advanced knowledge or being of a certain net worth or station in life. The messages and advice are highly universal. David injects helpful wit and self-deprecating humor to topics that likely cause a lot of folks to want to bury their heads in the sand. I actually requested that my husband read this book (as opposed to others on related topics) so we could get on the same page for that very reason.
Cons: if you're farther along on your FI journey, this is probably not the book for you. You've likely thought through a lot of the concepts and will want more specialized, tactical advice. Also, with the more tactical recommendations in the book, some of the nitty gritty is more specific to overseas audiences (given the writer is based in the U.K.), though he does a good job of specifying when that is the case.
5.0 out of 5 starsA lot of really good, practical and specific advice for career happiness and financial success
Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2018
This book covers a lot of ground for mid-career professionals, everything from keeping up with the latest skills to future-proof the back end of your career, to getting on the path to financial independence, and most importantly why are you doing all this in the first place--what really matters! The author shows you a really clear game plan and much of the writing is very direct and specific, which forces you to really think about your particular situation based on his questions/examples. I found the first-person style (lessons learned) authentic and engaging. Some of the financial info and advice is UK-specific, but most of it translates regardless of location. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who isn't 100% sure of their current career journey.
5.0 out of 5 starsWhy financial independence matters and how to get yours.
Reviewed in the United States on February 14, 2019
As a career public relations man, it’s been David Sawyer's job to create copy, spin things in a company’s favor, and craft a positive image for his clients in this digital age.
He describes RESET as his creed, the culmination of six years of self-discovery that led him down one rabbit hole after another, the most influential being the US-based financial independence blogosphere.
He’s a Scotsman, a scary-fast marathoner (2:40), and a father of two boys that happen to be the same age as mine. At 45, he’s a ways away from financial independence, but he knows what it will take to get there, and he and his family are making strides to make it happen within about 10 to 15 years.
He took the better part of a year off to write his manifesto, and I’m glad he did. It’s clear he did his research and homework; he lists about 10 books just on writing that he consumed as part of this quest. He read hundreds more on personal finance.
In the testimonials, William Danko, co-author of The Millionaire Next Door, sings the praises of the text. Now, you’ve got my attention.
The book is a bit eclectic. At times, I felt I was half-heartedly laughing so as to seem I was in on the inside joke even though I didn’t quite get it. Think Tim Ferriss meets Mr. Money Mustache meets Groundskeeper Willie and they all pay Marie Kondo a visit. That’ll happen when you explore all the rabbit holes.
I did laugh full-heartedly a number of other times, and Mr. Sawyer did a great job of bringing together many philosophies to synthesize his own take on financial freedom and how it can be achieved. This book is ideal for someone living in the U.K. as there is some specific investing talk pertinent to that part of the world, but 90% of his story and recommendations could apply to anyone.
4.0 out of 5 starsFrom the perspective of someone who's done it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2019
My wife and I hit FI aged 43, three years ago. I keep an eye on the FIRE community from time to time in order to keep building my knowledge around FI, and came across this book via Barney's blog, theescapeartist.me.
There's a lot to like about this book. For starters, David's targeting of 'mid life professionals' makes a lot of sense to me, as IMHO this is the demographic far more able to achieve FI through relatively simple life changes. His leaning towards motivational topics makes a lot of sense too - the financial tenets of FI are straightforward enough (earn as much as you can, avoid spending all of your income, build an emergency fund then invest as much of your savings as you can, eventually income from investments pays for your relatively low financial needs) and the real difficulty is the change in mindset needed to enable these changes.
As per almost all of the FIRE community he focuses almost entirely on the use of equities and bonds as investment choices, writing off the idea of renting out property in a couple of short paragraphs. Since our personal FI journey has been largely driven by letting out houses we used to live in, this is a shame. The suggestion that property isn't passive income is fair, but we've used full-service management agents for many years, and have been able to travel full time abroad while they took care of finding and vetting tenants, rent collection, checking the houses, holding deposits, making repairs, arranging gas inspections, everything. While if we were starting from scratch now we'd go down the index tracker (shares) fund route David suggests, renting out property is well worth investigating more outside of this book, if only to ponder a wider asset diversification.
One area David couldn't comment on is what happens post FI, as he's not hit that point yet. My hope is he'll update this book over time as he gets closer to the 'trigger point'. Getting to financial independence has been a great thing for us. It has enabled the many freedoms David discusses. But it's important to understand it's not a panacea. Removing the need for work for money also removes the character-reinforcing struggle David talks about, which needs replacing with something else, or (in my case) anxiety takes over. Having a million hours on your hands can also lead to a downward spiral unless the time's channeled into positive action, and after decades of commuting/office work, the imagination has been somewhat dulled for me, and needed re-igniting. If you're on the path to FI, start planning early what you're going to do if/when you pull the trigger and quit work. And once you've planned, plan for what you'll do after that. We planned to travel but after 4 years full time on the road, that eventually became stale, and we've still got (maybe) 30 years of 'retirement' to go.
All in all, I really enjoyed David's book - like reading one a (much) better version of me would have written! We thought about what would make us happy, we minimalised, we downsized, we reduced consumerism, we evaluated and pondered every purchase, we tracked our spending (notepad and spreadsheets for us), we drove less and walked or ran more, we read about and tackled fears, we researched investments and invested. All good stuff, and of course it works. If you go down this path, you might spend your life pondering while so few actually do it.
1.0 out of 5 starsAuthor wrote it for himself and his professional pals
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2018
After reading a quarter through this book I got bored of constantly reading the word careerist. This book is written for the midlife 70 to 100 thousand a year type who are looking to quit their jobs. It isn’t written for the majority of people. It’s a plan that includes getting yourself online ready and promoting yourself to would be employers not for people who are looking for a alternative route through an ordinary life. It’s tips are focused towards the professionals and it seems to be so focused it is almost exclusive written for the author himself. Useless for me and will be dropped off at the charity shop at the earliest opportunity
2.0 out of 5 starsTargets a very specific audience
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 14, 2019
Are you a middle aged, middle class high earner with no retirement plan or clue generally about how to run your life? Then this book has collated the information you need. Essentially, get on LinkedIn, konmari your 4 bedroom house, and start shopping at Lidl so you can free up a grand of disposable income a month and start investing it. The UK investment guide is quite detailed so if you do have that spare cash lying around this may be of use to you.
Personally I found this book a bit frustrating as I am already quite frugal (and don't earn that much), and a lot of it was just recommending other people's books or techniques rather than explaining how to do or apply anything directly. There are also many lists, 11 tips for this, 25 steps to that, that read like a cobbled together series of blog posts and become overwhelming when read all at once. And by the way, if you do decide to look up the konmari method of decluttering and organising, ignore the author's suggestion to skip rolling your socks - being able to instantly find the right type of socks while avoiding saggy ankles will make your life 1% better.
5.0 out of 5 starslooking to change? Look no further
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 25, 2018
As a mid forties midlifer (I hope) who never made any plans, never looked beyond the next pay cheque and certainly never troubled himself investing in anything so boring as a pension, I woke up from a latte-induced coma recently and found myself staring down the sawn-off double barrels of an impoverished old age where I will be forced to work in an industry I hate with people I loathe until the day I die.
Something better change I thought, I need to find a purpose, I need to find some meaning that gives me some hope that things might be different. So I started scrabbling around for inspiration, dabbling in self development, poring over the mind body and soul section in bookshops, looking for the answer, but with thousands and thousands of titles out there to choose from it's difficult to know where to start.
Then I was sent a link to download a copy of a book by this bloke who's stood in the very same shoes as me.
RESET is a godsend for anyone who finds themselves in our situation, because Dave has done all the reading for us and created a step by step guide for resetting our lives and reaching financial independence. Easy to read, I blasted through it in one sitting, his prose skips along at a fair lick: two parts motivational guru, one part knowing Northern curmudgeon. And whilst I might not decide to retrace every step of Dave's journey, I'll certainly be stocking up on index cards and dipping in and out to make some long overdue changes. Who knows, by the time I reach my sixties I may be able to finally say F.U. after all.
5.0 out of 5 starsInspirational Read - HIGHLY RECOMMEND
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 3, 2018
I've started many books on many different but related subjects since, but the first I've truly finished (without skipping boring bits) was this one. It's very new (it was published 29th August 2018) which had instant appeal to me, but also its UK focussed. The world is awash with US authors/bloggers on this subject but its refreshing that he ignores this and talks to me and not the mass market. Not only is his writing style engaging but I was more surprised that this is not just a book about money and growing it to be financially free, but a guidebook to life.
OK, that sounds dramatic, but it really struck a chord with me. Whilst we do not share the same career, his story is remarkably similar.
I don't actually just want money, I want to be happy, I want to find meaning in life, I want to stop being so lazy, I want to not have to worry about my job, I want more in a nutshell.
Sections on Happiness, Purpose, Finding Your Why are not new in this genre, but I hadn't seen anyone touch on Future-Proofing your career by learning about digital (applies to any career) or De-cluttering (your mind....and house obviously). I particularly liked that he has walked the walk and fed back on the benefits of each of these on his and his family's life outside of the obvious benefits. It was inspiring.
Perhaps the measure of any of these sorts of books is what have I actually done as a result of reading it. So here is my list:
Signed up to Money Dashboard and linked my and my wife cash accounts - I can now see exactly what we have in one place. Its revolutionary for me. HIGHLY RECOMMEND Ordered Marie Kondo - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying (my next book) Planning to go shopping in Lidl and Aldi rather than Morrisons to shave £100's from monthly grocery shop - If they can do wholemeal pitta bread on par with Morrisons, I'm converted. In the process of consolidating my old pensions into a SIPP - I had previously tried to optimise the investment selections but realised they are not diversified correctly and I want to control the 3 of them under one plan. Sold my entire fund portfolio - OH YEAH, quite a big one. I had previously tried to emulate suggestions from Andrew Craig's How to Own the World, but I got sidetracked by Trustnet's fund recommendations and didn't split them globally correctly. I figured lets just start again and stick to a tried and tested plan suggested in this book Sold all my sons shares in his Junior ISA so to reinvest properly - as per 5 The Investing section is clearly the big one and his practical advice on exactly what funds to invest in and in what exact proportion is precisely what I've not seen anywhere else. I just want to copy someone and not let my amateurism get in my way.
I trust him because he reads a helluva lot. The references throughout are vast and varied. From financial heavyweights to blogging heavyweights and I can see a healthy mix of independent thought on each topic. It just feels like he takes the best bits.
I really hope I do not read any other books that contradict all this as I cannot be bothered to keep selling my funds and restarting every week, and I really don't think I will read anything on this subject for a while now because I feel I have a guidebook I will refer back to time and time again. Better to focus on other things like Affiliate Marketing for this blog, investing in business, Marie Kondo's book. I mean seriously, if I read that, my wife will think I've gone insane. I hope she likes the new me.