“The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferris provided the roadmap that ultimately led us to design the lifestyle that we write about here. I thought I’d tell you a little more about it. — Mr. TNF
I’m late to the party. I admit it.
Timothy Ferris originally wrote and published The 4-Hour Workweek in 2007. Somehow, I managed to avoid the book until 2019.
I knew about the book before 2019, but honestly, I thought it was just another productivity or management manifesto with a catchy title. Sort of like the One Minute Manager. And I just never picked it up.
Even when I finally bought the book and started reading it, I really had no idea what the overall premise of the book was.
I wasn’t far into the book before realizing that this book was talking about a topic that I was unfamiliar with. “Lifestyle Design”, “New Rich”, and “Deferred-Life Plan” were all concepts that grace the first few pages.
And I was hooked.
Ferris wasn’t talking about how to be more productive in your corporate job so that you could get more done, catch a big promotion, and hope for a big raise. He was talking about how silly that lifestyle is in this digital age.
He was talking about how to “stop trading time for money” and how “reality is negotiable”.
Now, he was really speaking my language!
I soon realized that I was what Ferris termed a “Deferrer”; someone he described as “working hard to save it all for the end”. In fact, I had recently created a very detailed spreadsheet outlining our savings towards financial independence. I had it all planned out in excruciating detail. We would be multi-millionaires in retirement! With 401k’s and IRA’s overflowing with abundance.
We were already interested in retiring “early” (before the traditional age of 65 in the U.S.) and my detailed plan would have had us both retired by the age of 50.
But that still meant giving away the most physically capable years of our lives. Spending lots of time away from our kids while they are young. For what? To live big at 65? 75? 85?
By chapter 4, my brain was working overtime to process the idea that maybe, just maybe, we could design a lifestyle NOW that would provide us the ultimate freedom.
Chapter 14 was probably the tipping point. This is where Ferris introduces the Parable of the Mexican Fisherman and how to use geographic arbitrage to make ends meet. My eyes were opened to just how far money can go in some parts of the world.
I was sold. I had a clear vision of what a new life could include if we were willing to hit the RESET button.
Soon I was creating a new spreadsheet. One that would ultimately become the “Secret Master Plan” for our new life.