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Publisher's Summary

A practical action guide for financial independence and early retirement from the popular Our Next Life blogger.

In today's work culture, we're expected to hustle around the clock. But what if you could escape the traditional path and get on one that doesn't require working full-time until age 65? What if you could wake up every day without an alarm clock and do the things you love most?

Tanja Hester and her husband Mark left their crazed careerist lifestyle to live their dream life in Lake Tahoe, retiring early from high-stress careers. Now Tanja will help you map out a customized plan for freedom and make it easy to succeed, whether you're good at math and budgeting - or not! Work Optional is more than just a financial plan: it's a plan for your whole life-designed by you, not by an employer or clients. Tanja walks you through envisioning your dream life, accounting for variables such as health care and children, protecting yourself from recessions and future unknowns, and achieving a purpose-filled early retirement, semi-retirement, or career intermission with completely doable, non-penny-pinching steps. 

You can live a happier, more meaningful life, free from the daily grind. Regardless of where you are in your career, Work Optional will get you there.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Tanja Hester (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Financially independent with a bulletproof plan, Tanja gets to the heart of what actually matters in moving forward on your financial journey in Work Optional without resorting to the extremes.... This well-researched book gives you a definitive action plan for creating a life-changing financial position in a two-phased retirement plan that is both realistic and motivating. Tips and tactics abound...in particular...her discussion about healthcare options for those seeking early retirement - a huge area overlooked by many many seeking to make work optional or pursue non-traditional work." (Scott Trench, author of Set for Life: Dominate Life, Money, and the American Dream)

"Hester's story is relatable, refreshing, and a pleasure to read. All too often we chase external measures of success without thinking about what we truly want from life. In Work Optional, Hester gives us a roadmap for a less traveled path: living a more purpose-driven life through financial independence." (Kristin Wong, author of Get Money: Live the Life You Want, Not Just the Life You Can Afford)

"Ms. Hester get[s] you to think about how you might retire early, forc[ing] you to ponder how you could cut current spending and increase your income, savings and the rates they earn." (The New York Times)

What listeners say about Work Optional

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  • Overall
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    3 out of 5 stars

This has it all.

A very dense look at early retirement. You can tell she is walking the talk. Loads of info. Daunting really.

If you are serious about early retirement then this is a book you can't listen to while you're working out or driving. You need to sit down with it and take copius notes as, like I mentioned, this is a beast of dense material.

Great work. I will continue to refer to this book many times now and in my planning.

9 people found this helpful

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Lots of good information.... but...

There is lots of good information but my head was about to explode. it's like sitting in front of your CPA and hear her talk for a few hours and you can't talk back, its a one-way conversation with your CPA for 6 hours about your financial options.
It got too boring to bear. which is a shame because the author and narrator is very articulate with a very pleasant voice, but she just reads very monotonous. just like Siri. maybe reading this in a book format is better. wish the author would sound like she enjoys it and been a little lighter and less heavy with all of those financial options. in all honesty it is like listening to SIRI or Alexa read a book for 6 hours.
If you're the type that can listen to financial and technical options you might enjoy this. me personally, I need to hear some personality, a little humor here and there, something human.

That being said, the author did her due diligence. there is tons of good financial information, and you can tell the author put in a whole lot of work and has a whole lot of knowledge about the many options to approach financial security.
I'm still going to keep this audio book, only I can handle listening to a few minutes a week.

3 people found this helpful

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Must-Read

Great ideas in here! It's inspired me to start on my own 10-year plan. Hopefully I'll say goodbye to work one day!

3 people found this helpful

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Worth the Listen

Good listen, inspirational, only negative I wish they were a little more transparent with how much they actually retired with & what that generates for them monthly. Worth your time. :)

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing resource for financial independence!

This is a book I’ll be coming back to for years to come. It covers all the bases in an accessible way with tons of useful examples and personal exercises to use. I know that as I encounter new steps and questions along my own financial path, I’ll be looking back to different sections of the book as a guide. Highly recommend for anyone interested in financial independence and/or early retirement!

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Great recommendations on how to retire early!

I loved all of the suggestions given! I especially loved how Tanja stressed the importance of identifying both your retirement vision and your money mission statement, the questions she posed were excellent as well as the real life examples she gave. I highly recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Actually learned a few things

I have a finance and accounting background and have generally read and learned about FIRE topics for a while. Nonetheless this book was useful as an organizing framework and o learned a handful of technical things that were great (eg straight line depletion of 401k pre-65yo).

1 person found this helpful

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get the paperback

great concept but too many calculations and they're not all in the PDF, so hard to calculate things as she's talking. also, I'm Canadian, so at least 60% of the content doesn't apply to me.

7 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Read!

Really enjoyed! It is a nice balance of finance and narrative., a holistic approach to early retirement. The author also does a great job in narrating the text.

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No unnecessary repetitiveness typical of most.

This book is a great read and inspiring. So much is laid out for you with very well rounded information.