Sunday, October 10, 2004

Retiring early and being environment-friendly

Have you ever thought that seeking to retire early could also mean being more environment friendly?

There are two ways to get around ER: increase income and decrease expenses. Increasing income is much difficult, since you have almost no control on it, but decreasing expenses is rather easy. You can even reduce expenses without any sacrifice, with no change in you daily life. And as a general rule of thumb, if it costs you less, it might also be ecological.

I bought five low-energy bulbs last week. Their electricity consumption is 11 watts and produce as much light as a 60 watts bulb. They are more expensive, but they last much longer: 10 000 hours for the ones I bought. Thus, the extra-cost to buy these is offset by their much longer lifetime, and you will not need to change the bulbs for a while, saving time, particularly for bulbs that are difficult to reach.

The bonus: you save about 50 watts to get the same light. For their 10 000 hours lifetime, this is 500kw. Depending upon the cost of electricy where you live, this could help you save over $40 each bulb. If you multiply this by say, 10 bulbs, this sum up to $400 each three or four years (it depends how much you use them each day). Consider a $100 saved each year. That is the amount you will save forever if you switch to low-energy bulbs.

How this helps you with your retirement plan? Use FireCalc. Chances of success according to it and the default value is now 93.9% from 93.2%. Not bad for such a small, environmental action.


Blogger Viajera said...

Hi Jack. Good for you! I have been planning on early retirement since age 28. I'm 30 now and plan on leaving full-time work at age 42-45. I am also a big fan of Dianne Nahirny as well as the Terhorsts, the Ferstenous and Joe Dominguez.

Isn't it amazing how many people want to find every hole imaginable in your ER plan? I get a lot of nasty comments about my plan and consequential lifestyle. I think they are jealous. Keep up the good work and I'll be visiting your blog regularly.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Hi Viajera,

Thank you for your comment. Yes, as you said, I did receive many comments suggesting I am wrong, that I am a beginner and that I should redo my math. People think I haven't considered basic things such as inflation. But the real thing for me is reducing expenses and spending more time thinking about what really makes you happy. Just one example: I like restaurants and I don't particularly appreciate cooking. As a consequence, in the past, I used to eat in restaurants 5-6 times a week. As it costs a lot, I had to select cheaper restaurants. Now, I go for a dinner less than once a week in a good restaurant and I buy low cost prepared food for 4-5 meals a week, mainly for lunch at work. At the end, it costs much less than before, but I get more satisfaction from the good restaurant.

This is part of Diane Nahirny's philosophy about ER and reduction of expenses, and I fully agree on that point.

I'll add your blog to my blogroll. Good luck with your early retirement plan :)

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