Early Retirement as a Theology

There’s a peculiar sort of parallel between the broad ‘belief’ of early retirement and Christian theology.

Broadly speaking, the popular understanding of a ‘Christian’ life, is one of someone striving to be virtuous. This entails cultivating various positive characteristics, such as charity, faith, tolerance, etc., and resisting various temptations, such as lust, gluttony, anger, etc. Should one successfully cultivate and resist, there is a reward: heaven. On the other hand, succumb to temptation, or remain uncultivated, and there is only agony in the future.

Broadly speaking, those in the early retirement community have an understanding of a ‘good’ life. One must strive to be virtuous, while avoiding sins. Virtues include self-reliance, frugality, creativity, etc., while sins include gluttony, lust for objects, sloth, etc. Should one successfully cultivate virtues and abstain from sin, there is a reward: retirement. On the other hand, succumb to temptation or remain unvirtuous, and there is only work stretching into the future.

There’s an awful lot in common between these views of the world. One difference that stands out, though, is that most religion actively shuns evidence, and makes a fetish of faith. On the other hand, the early retirement community tends to seek concrete evidence: numbers in spreadsheets, active calculations of cost reductions, factual stories of retirement dreams achieved.

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1 Comment

  1. Plus we do have evidence that some people actually reached retirement…

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