How lean startup can improve early retirement

18 thoughts on “How lean startup can improve early retirement”

  1. Those are some good principles that certainly can be applied to early retirement. Eliminating uncertainty is especially key which we can all do by making sure we have plenty of cushion in our retirement accounts and are committed to maintaining flexibility if / when plans change.

    1. Thanks Green Swan. It’s tough to eliminate *ALL* uncertainty, but a little confidence goes a long way to keep uncertainties from crippling your lifestyle. Flexibility is key.

  2. LOL — My first thought when I saw this post title was “I can’t wait to escape all this work jargon!” The lean startup, being disruptive, fail fast — these are all phrases I can’t wait to never hear again after we leave our careers. 🙂 Mostly because most people just use the jargon but don’t actually do what’s behind them, like “work smarter, not harder.” For most people, that really will mean working MORE. (Find me a startup out there that’s successful where people don’t work a million hours. That’s not a thing.)

    But getting past my knee jerk reaction, I love the idea of applying all of these principles outside of work, in our own finances. Anything we can all do to minimize wasted effort is a good thing. 🙂

    1. I’m right there with you, ONL – I used to work for a CEO of a small company that used a lot of those terms. I think “Being disruptive” is my #1 hated term in business. Or, “influencer”…that’s another one. 🙂

  3. An interesting take on the lean startup principals. I’m going to be skeptical though (no offense). There’s *always* a new management theory or book … every week it seems!

    I used to have a manager who managed using “by the book” principals like this. He’d pick up the latest management theory book, be totally convinced of its effectiveness, and then try to run his business that way for awhile.

    After about the 4th great management theory book, I got tired of it. 🙁

    Apologies for my skepticism.

  4. Use the lean startup methodology professionally. There are some big uncertainties about retirement that are tough to predict much less control. What will future market returns be on the investment portfolio (assuming we can match the market)? On real estate? Will Social Security pay out as planned? What will inflation be? How expensive will health care and health insurance be? What will future tax income and property taxes do to us? How long will I and my spouse live?

    We’re relatively certain of our ability to adjust lifestyle to then available income — the bulk of the examples in the article. It’s the big things over which we have less control that require a “business model” to mitigate risk to enable early retirement.

    1. It’s true that there are certain things that we won’t have control over. Stuff happens in this world. The best that we can do – whether early retirees or not – is do our best to adjust to them the best we can. 🙂

  5. Great analogy! Any tool that helps one think about early retirement from a slightly different perspective is a good thing. The more angles we look at, the better picture we have of what it should look like, especially since we each have a different picture in mind.

  6. Eliminating uncertainty is a smart thing to do that’s often overlooked. Many times, people think of starting a business as “sexy” and they get wildly enamored with the idea of being their own boss that they overlook to protect their downsides that they might potentially have. It’s hard to do but able to be figured out, can’t overlook it!

    1. I agree, Finance Solver. We get caught up in “changing the world” that we can no longer see the forest for the trees. Stay practical, think logically and things tend to fall nicely into place. 🙂

  7. We’ve been exploring the MVP principle in the last few years leading into retirement. And we’ll be downsizing. One thing that’s important to me is that we don’t hover close to the bare minimum in lifestyle. I feel our days of getting a “real” job will be over and it gives me comfort to know we can cut more – if we have to.

    1. Good point, Mrs. Groovy. If you go into retirement already skimmed down to the bare minimum, you might find it tough to scrimp even more if required in the future. A little slack in your plan is always a wise choice!

  8. The problem with most of the startups is they put a lot of hardwork and not smart work. Something we need to understand and understand it real quick. Thank you Steve for jotting down the points.

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