How I Retired at 25 & Never Looked Back.

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Matilda A. Juliette pic 1

I’m sticking it to the man.

I ‘retired’ (aka quit, without intentions of looking for another typical job) two years ago at age 25 with no retirement plan because I don’t like when other people tell me I only get two weeks of free time a year.

This might be our only life and because someone else taught us a nine-to-five, working our way up the corporate ladder, bringing home the dough just to spend it again, more possessions and less time equals success, we do it?

Last Thanksgiving my conservative, good intentioned father asked me yet again when I plan on giving up being a spiritual warrior/yoga teacher/writer/creator of all things beautiful and get a ‘real job.’ I smiled at him across the breakfast table.

“I think I’ve let that go…” I replied with a grin. “Let it go?” he smirked, shocked. The idea of just letting go of society’s vision of success and beginning to abandon the money system left him perplexed. “I don’t have a plan, and I don’t know how it’s going to work out,” I told him honestly.

I graduated University just after the worst of the recession. I’ve hopped from job to job hoping each one will be the perfect blend of income, creativity and happiness. Is respect in a work place too much to ask?

“Age 25 is pretty young to start compromising morals,” a counselor told me when I described how several components of my Medical Coding position felt unethical. “My soul will literally die if I continue this game…” I told my dad. He seemed to get the point and so I took the leap.

Employers pay taxes for employees. Employees get taxes taken out of our wages. Then we go and buy things where sales tax is collected. Tax, tax, tax—where does it all go?

I actually wouldn’t mind taxes if they went to things I find important, but fighting what already exists is wasted energy. So how does one pay into the system less?

Here are tips on stretching your money, finding independence and cultivating financial freedom. These steps have helped me and hopefully they will work for you, too. If you have additions please leave them in the comments below!

1. I become a little garden rebel.

I have heard retired people mention they spend time gardening. My grocery bill is at least 70 percent less than what it was. Yes, it actually is like money growing on trees. When veggies are about to go bad I turn them into soup or quiche and when fruits are about to turn, I make a smoothie or fruit popsicles. Several neighbors and I built a chicken coop out of pallets and we share the eggs. These chickens eat our organic table scraps instead of GMO corn and are let out in the yard to eat bugs (historically their actual diet) resulting in amazing flavor! I’ve learned how to prepare and freeze zucchini, pumpkin, peas, carrots, etc to use throughout the winter. I’ve discovered the joy in drying herbs for delicious teas.

2. I trade and share goods, services and time with my local community members.

I’ve found that the ability to give others my energy and my time has thrilled many friends, especially those who are parents. We trade garden produce for child care, my yoga studio exchanges free practice for light cleaning and watering their flowers, etc. What a blessing to have lots of time, and little money— because for many, it’s the opposite, and working together has helped all of us accomplish many goals.

3. I’ve learned how to find and love free activities.

Spend time at beaches and parks. Check out books and movies from the library. Climb a tree, a rock, or a mountain. Play with the dog. Attend a free community class. Go camping, ride your bike. Take artistic pictures of your area. Make music. Write.

4. I make almost everything from scratch.

I’m talking all sorts of yummy dishes, toothpaste, laundry detergent and anything else I can think of. Practicing gardening and cooking makes going out to eat obsolete. On my list of things to learn is DIY wine!

What I don’t make from scratch or trade, I find at thrift stores or yard sales. Seriously, anything can be found second hand and the quality is still great. Yard sale-ing is another way that we can support our community. The ‘Buy Local’ slogan is great because the money circulates locally. Other benefits of buying thrift store local is that we are no longer responsible for all of the fossil fuels used in importing or all of the plastic packaging that comes with it. Our oceans and our land is filled with trash. We are poisoning ourselves and the earth, which we rely on for survival.

5. I use what I have.

“Waste not, want not. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” as my grandmother taught from living during the Great Depression, is an amazing skill to cultivate. (Thank you mom for passing it down so eloquently!) The practice of acknowledging abundance and realizing that we already have enough stuff is truly a blessing.

North Americans have more possessions than 90 percent of the world, and we don’t really need other things. Old clothes are cut into rags. When the rags fall apart we braided slices together creating beautiful rugs. In other countries, a stain on a shirt or the zipper that never stays up is not a good enough reason to get rid of something. Articles of clothing are used and passed around until they have lived full lives.

Watering flowers is what life is all about. Play with children. Enjoy the simple moments that compile life. Connect with the earth. Taking these steps and giving myself time has benefited my life in so many ways.

This is early retirement. In spending less eating from the garden instead of food like products, my health has improved resulting in spending less money at the doctor and I don’t need to rely on a job’s health insurance to live. I have had the time to ponder what is important to me, and I have time now to pick up trash on beaches, live slower and share love with my tribe.

I could return to a working life,  and I might one day. We make our own choices and we create our realities. “I shouldn’t have freely and compassionately worked on my spiritual wellness, happiness and health in my late 20s,” said nobody ever.

author: Matilda A. Juliette

Image: Author's own

Editor: Renée Picard

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anonymous Apr 4, 2016 10:33am

Would love to hear back from the author on these questions.

anonymous Sep 21, 2015 6:46am

I think its great to live like this, but I think it is a little unrealistic, unless you have your parents who pay for everything else or a sugar daddy. When you work you do give back to society, we were putting on this world to serve, imagine if everyone quit their jobs to live a simpler life, we wouldn't have doctors, nurses, police officers, etc etc, I believe it is about having balance, we shouldn't live for the love of money or material things, our goals should be in helping others and making time for God/family and friends, balance is the key for success

anonymous Jul 29, 2015 7:44pm

My darlings happiness is found in service, in getting out of our heads. Any job can be done with integrity and in service to others. Simply choose to be kind. And don't kid yourself that this boho lifestyle is not dependent on the system you deplore. If you are injured or sick you go to the emergency room and are treated at the expense of those who are working for "the man."

And audience dears, this many responses provides the writer fodder To obtain advertising on her blog.

anonymous Jul 18, 2015 8:27am

"Free internet" = library/coffee house
"Free housing" trading skills/veggies for a couch to crash on

This article rings true with me. I grew up in a very poor family, so many of these things you talk about I have done. We didn't have internet (even when I was in college I basically lived at the library/coffee shop). We grew most of our own good and raised free range chickens (which we fed the eggshells back to (aka calcium). I think people get so stuck in the American Dream Paradigm they can't imganine a life otherwise. Yes my dad did work , but my mom was a stay at home raising three kids on less than $50k a year. And honestly I MISS those years. I had a very fulfilling and joyful childhood because I didn't have the normal social pressures of materialism. Now all my boyfriend can talk about is buying a new car or some other new toy of some sort. I would gladly give up my laptop and frivolous possessions for more quality time spent in nature/with family and friends instead of having a new car.

    anonymous Jul 18, 2015 11:03am

    Emily you should write an article and share your story!!

anonymous Jul 14, 2015 1:49am

I enjoyed reading this article and all the mixed comments. It seems to me that most people accept the way things are just because they may be afraid to try something different. At least Matilda is not on food stamps and is involved in her local communty. How many people reading this know your neighbors, or volunteer their time to people in need? There are other ways to do your part in this world rather than just paying taxes. Our government does not want anyone to learn to be independent or sustainable. Does everyone believe that the taxes you pay are contributing to making anything better? Or is the entire system designed to enslave you? Everyone is allowed to have their own idea of happiness, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Keep up the good work Matilda!

anonymous Jul 13, 2015 4:40pm

This article is too black and white in assuming that working for a corporation excludes you from a meaningful life. I work because I need money to support myself and live a lifestyle I enjoy. What I am saying is you can have a job that supports a meaningful life and enjoy the best of both worlds. My bigest criticism of my generation is our unrealistic expectations. Life is not always yoga and gardening. Sometimes you have to do tasks that are a little less than enjoyable but you do these tasks to support the times, things and people you love.

anonymous Jun 15, 2015 5:44am

Thank you for having the courage Matilida. It helps me not feel alone in going against the grain.

anonymous Jun 12, 2015 1:41pm

There are some very good points in the negative comments but I think she has noble intentions and is willing to put time and effort into doing things in a "greener" and less wasteful way. If more of us would take up some of these habits the earth would be a better place for it. She is still young and may think differently about things should circumstances require more stability and responsibility for others but for now, enjoy the time. Just try to give back on the freebies you use.

anonymous Apr 23, 2015 8:55am

I'm glad that you are so enjoying all the things around you, but let's get a little realistic here. What do you think maintains those beautiful beaches and parks that you go to and what pays for those free books and movies you get from the library? What about the campgrounds you stay in, what pays to maintain them? You say you attend free community classes, what pays for the instructors and the buildings they are held in? What about the roads that you ride your bike on? Might it be our tax dollars and when I say our tax dollars that would not include you would it? Therefore you really don't have a right to use any of those things. I believe we should all exercise a lot more self reliance but the definition of self reliance does not mean living off of someone else. Might I suggest that your father was most likely upset about your life style choice because he was the one that paid for your college and if not him it was probably the rest of us sharing our tax dollars again with you. I'm pretty sure that tax dollars gave you your earlier education also. So many of the people that complain about our government live off of our government. I sure hope you never suffer from a serious illness because I don't want my tax dollars to pay for your healing. I'm sure all of us would like more free time to play, but if we all lived as you are suggesting we would no longer have any of the wonderful things "you" enjoy in this country, so instead of complaining about our corporate society roll up your sleeves and help make changes that everyone can enjoy! I think that the biggest lesson you missed in your years of education is the value of hard work. Just a thought here; if no one worked, who would have the money to buy your book? That's almost laughable isn't it?

anonymous Apr 21, 2015 8:24am

I’d rather be working the 9-5 grind than making my own toothpaste and washing powder – a couple of pounds each every couple of months. It’s all well and good if you enjoy it but you admit you had to “learn” to love free activites. I for one would be a lot more miserable if we had to swap lives for a week – but good luck to you, I hope you get everything you want out of it.

anonymous Apr 19, 2015 10:50am

Hi Matilda. I did the same thing with you now. Resign while I'm on peak. 25 Years Old. They said golden age in my country. But i felt nothing eventhough I have money, career, friend, good client and all fancy things. But I forgot, God, Family and the most important – My Self. Its almost been 3 months. No job, no income. But I am so happy. Get my coffee in the morning and chit chat with my dad. Clean my own house, watering flower every morning, reading, playing with kids, and meet my relatives. I dont know when I will work again. The thing I know now is I dont want to waste my happiness even for a second. Because life is just too precious to wasted.

anonymous Apr 19, 2015 10:03am

I love this article! I am a 20 year old who is right now working on taking a similar route, although I am still working a conventional job, my lifes work is a combination of glass blowing, drawing, fire dancing, and fighting with the set paradigm to align my life style with the earth and my higher self. I just bought a van to live in so I can eliminate rent and will be retiring about a week before my 21st birthday this year when my lease ends in Nov. Thank you for the inspiration to push forward and reclaim the most precious resource of all- my time ♡

anonymous Apr 19, 2015 2:18am

This is some really good advice on how to live more in tune with the earth. I did notice that almost all of your strategies depend on having good health and being fully mobile, easy to take for granted in your twenties. If you include solving existing problems and helping others, a whole new world could open up for you.

anonymous Jan 12, 2015 9:29am

I love this article. I've lived on both sides of the fence – by that I mean a) stuck in the paradigm where all that counts is material 'security' (btw that doesn't exist – look at the global financial crisis) and b) trying to live in the spirit of what the author of this article offers. I'm 35 and have had considerable and varied life experience. In my opinion those who are questioning the authenticity / credibility of this author are simply stuck in a blinkered paradigm where there is loosely only one way to live – as sheeple (people with herd mentality) The point of this article is not whether the author is backed by some form of financial security or even to pick up (useful) tips about how to live with little or no money (many examples of people doing both btw), it's about realizing that life is art and is our canvas to express whatever values we want to; to open up to the idea that life can be lived beautifully. Some people will get it and some won't but this author (and others living similar lifestyles) is not naive – she's awakened and until you're awakened you just don't know. Good luck to all of your doubters – I hope one day you also see the light.

anonymous Dec 27, 2014 11:25pm

Hi Matilda, thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us. I believe your pointers and tips can be added to most lives. Most of us barter money for time. Do you find bartering to be a readily acceptable form of trade ?

anonymous Dec 9, 2014 1:51am

I feel like the main point of the article comes at its end. The author is saying that she is using this time to work on her own spiritual well-being, happiness, and (presumably, although its not mentioned) work through all her crap.

I feel like this article is about how to free up yourself and focus on the things that matter, if even for a period of time. Too many of us are too busy to focus on things like the core root of our issues. And I don't necessarily blame anyone because if I were in an office all week I wouldn't have the time either.

The author says that she might return to the work world at some point, but for now is focusing on how to live. And that is a beautiful thing.

anonymous Dec 7, 2014 6:29am

Im kinda feeling the sentiments of others who are questioning the legitity of this guy.

Something doesn’t sit right with me – it’s idealistic and s lovely idea but I can’t help but feel this guys ‘privileged’ upbringing allows him the option to do so, and a safety net if it doesn’t work out. It’s shortsighted.

Please also be mindful that the bike you use, the camera for all your ‘arty’ projects, the library you go to – all of these things are in existence because of other people’s work. Cameras don’t design, engineer, manufacture, market and supply themselves.

So I agree in the sense that I can’t see much difference between your attitude and s bankers.

It’s commendable to have a balanced healthy approach to life (and many working folk share the same views), but do understand that your ‘freedom’ is at the cost of others time and effort.

Go well.

anonymous Nov 26, 2014 5:02am

You act like this is some new age idea inspired by the breadth of your extensive life experience and profound inner self reflection. Your not retired you are a hipster living in Brooklyn who doesn’t know he is just a modernized version of a hippy. There is no time machine that can take you back to Woodstock, but Williamsburg should suit you nicely for now.

anonymous Nov 24, 2014 8:01pm

hahaha, this reeks of douche and something is not being told. What about mortgage/rent, the internet your posting this with, the computer your using, your phone bill, car bill, taxes, parking tickets, health insurance, home insurance, ect? You know even gardening can rack up a large bill for most except those who REALLY know what they're doing, and very few of those are 25 years old. I'm thinking someones still on mommy and daddys pay roll and living at home.

News flash; you didn't retire, you just don't have a job.

anonymous Nov 22, 2014 10:01am

I absolutely loved this article thanks for sharing!!! I'm only 19, but I completely understand where you're coming from. There are much higher affinities in life that are worth more than the day to day conglomerates we are surrounded by, it's just up to us to realize it.

anonymous Nov 22, 2014 7:49am

sounds like a 20’s type of explorative life. very nice. are you sharing a home with others, therefore rent is very little? I see other people would like to know that as well. hopefully we will hear from you. sweet simple life….enjoy.

anonymous Nov 15, 2014 2:02am

ok – but he doesn't mention where he gets the money he must have from ? his parents, benefits ? where does he live & who pays for that ? really, these are such a fundamental questions to this whole article that to not include them means the article is worthless. 'He' might have retired at 25 but somewhere someone else is having to still work so that he has money to do that. I totally agree with the basic principle – but my point is that his article damages that idea, simply because he misses out the points that undermine his own actions. No one is 'free' from the stresses & time constraints of our 9-5 society if someone else is paying for them to be free – unless they've sacrificed any care & compassion for those that enable that choice. This chap can obviously do that – not care who else is supporting him, but its not a moral choice i'd like to take. I see no difference in that than in a corporate bankers choice to fleece others in order to sustain their lifestyle. Yes, he mentions being a yoga teacher (so, he hasn't retired then !) but the small amount he gets from that won't cover housing, heat, food, health care if he falls ill, any taxes that need to be recovered to support infrastructure for himself & others in his community etc etc.

anonymous Nov 9, 2014 7:49pm

Barter income is still income and therefore taxable.

anonymous Nov 9, 2014 6:10pm

Great principles, but hard to afford anything if you are single, work seasonal jobs, and enjoy "free" activities (my life). Usually free things like biking still require paying for repairs or parts if you bike as much as I do, and aren't willing to give it up. Then there is the auto thing if you live somewhere where you have to drive a majority of the time. Housing and auto= big expense. Sharing economy is becoming bigger where I live, and maybe I need to network more to find someone to help me with auto repairs on occasion, but the reality is sometimes you just need things done, so you pay for them. Living near /working in recreation and tourism industry is all dandy, but when your degree and extra education still only gets you $10/hour seasonal work (I am not a waitress or bartender…maybe I should be… how do you to pay any bills and keep a warmish roof over my head on these principles alone? I'm done living in tents (unless it's for fun backpacking). And PS: I make a lot of my own food too. But sometimes, I'm too tired to make the bread…because I've been so busy trying to earn $ to pay the bills… I'm going to go do yoga now for free because I have paid for enough classes to know how to do it at home (but classes are fun, but you've gotta cut some expenses somehow…sorry yogis!).

anonymous Nov 8, 2014 2:40pm

This is a lovely article with lots of nice thoughts, but I think the title is misleading and what is misleading about it I think gets to the heart of a lot of the critical comments here. How I retired at 25 and "never" looked back. The author "retired" 2 years ago. This is very little time for this kind of thing. The word "never" in the title suggests that this is an article being written by someone who is 60+ years old and is going to tell us the "how" to make this kind of life work. But it will be a long time before we know whether this author's direction will actually work, or whether this period in her life will just end-up being an extended vacation – a "phase" — that her 40-year old self will explain she grew out of when talking about it at the company Christmas party.

    anonymous Apr 19, 2015 4:02pm

    Thx for putting my thoughts into words.

anonymous Nov 7, 2014 2:53pm

“We are poisoning ourselves and the earth, which we rely on for survival.” This is really great, your article! And that is exactly what I’m often telling my friends : we (humans) are disrespectful with the things that allow us to stay alive! To learn to live with minimum is a great life experience.

anonymous Nov 7, 2014 8:15am

“Waste not, want not. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

8th Class Date Sheet 2015 PEC

anonymous Nov 7, 2014 7:42am

Something sounds not quite right here. I am also a yoga instructor, and am required to pay taxes on my income. As far as I know I am not considered a church thus not tax free. I work as an independent contractor to other studios and do corporate work to keep overhead low. Should I get a studio I would be required to pay rent. And certainly if you are blogging or however you got this article published you need internet service. The good folks at Verizon wireless do not wish to trade yoga for internet. Although I love the theory, in this world, it does not seem possible unless one takes to the mountains to hide out. Not sure if you are in the States, but if you are, and you have any traceable income, you will be liable for taxes and interest. Please reply and let us know how you manage these things.

    anonymous Jul 13, 2015 1:17pm

    She's also required by law to have insurance…so I'm not sure how she's paying for that either.

anonymous Nov 7, 2014 7:06am

It works when you are young and healthy, without a family or children, when your parents are healthy and so on. The problem is that it won't last forever and one day you most likely will have to look for a proper job. Sighting day dreaming and hill climbing as experience won't land you anything much and then it oh so hurts to see how you can't support a sick parent or give your children a good education. And with a gap of some 5-10 years of your most productive years, you'll be stuck in low pay boring jobs..

Make sure you are not trading your future for your present..

    anonymous Jun 8, 2015 4:16pm

    Very good point Alena.

    anonymous Jun 15, 2015 5:42am

    Not trading our present for a possible, may or may not happen future is part of the point here. I suspect that her income will grow as she makes inroads into her niches, and I doubt she'll ever go back to a job, let alone a boring, low paying one.

anonymous Nov 7, 2014 6:24am

Great article! I have worked and traveled all my twenties, rarely staying somewhere more then two years so I can relate. My friend always calls me Peter Pan. I always say I retired early. They seem to think it incredible that I can live such a carefree lifestyle. On one side it is just because I don't buy material things and spend it on travel instead on the other I can save quickly because I can stay with my parents. I recently bought and sold a house because I realised quickly I was already in the vice of the capitalist system and needed to work jobs I didn't want to because of a mortgage and pulled my back out, etc. Lately now that I'm 30 I've been thinking of getting a more serious part time job (as well as my wife), still live cheaply but save for land and build a yurt or tiny house asap. Then with no rent or bills (off grid) choose what we want to do. Then you aren't relying on consumer society hand me downs (e.g thrift shops) or your parents and friends and you can afford to support local food producers, local artisans (e.g furniture made from local wood) and all the rest. That's my concept of a more sustainable lifestyle – more in symbiosis with your local area rather then living on the back of your friends and family who are in the system or relying on up cycling (which is great but is feeding off a system you're trying to move away from).

anonymous Nov 7, 2014 1:31am

If you had picked a job with a real purpose and not one that just encouraged you to climb the corporate ladder you might have enjoyed work and be saving people’s lives or learning about the universe rather than living a subsistence lifestyle because you find work boring.

    anonymous Jul 19, 2015 10:35am

    She did, she teaches yoga and writes. She just doesn't make as much money from it as she would have with the "corporate job". I think you're missing the point of the article.

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 8:01pm

As an experienced keeper of chickens and animal rights advocate, I'd like to leave a side note on raising hens: with love and respect, they need more than table scraps and yard bugs to have a healthy, well rounded diet (layers need a lot of calcium, for example). This is not the "historical diet" of chickens. "Wild" chickens are omnivores, they eat vegetation, bugs, snakes, mice, lizards, eggs, ect. They are also not at ideal health and don't live long healthy lives. Please do some research on a well rounded diet for laying hens. Letting yourself live free on practically nothing is awesome (I did it at your age too!), but please make sure that the animals you bring into your lifestyle are cared for. Respect and Peace.

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 6:34pm

hey matilda,
where do you live? along with others questions I too am wondering if you have any source of income whatsoever? and if not, how do you pay for even the littles of things, i.e. ingredients to make the diy products for at home and seeds for your garden?!
thanks !

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 5:45pm

this is great!

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 1:35pm

Fun read Matilda! Thank you!

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 11:28am

Few comments confounds me.

Lisa – did you know that ‘to each their own’ or German ‘Jedem das Seine’ was over the entrance of Buckenwald concentration camp? Your comment seems apropos for the slogan, because it seems to be mired in a sense of fear instilled by society of ‘success’ and ‘happiness’. You get sick because of 9 to 5 lifestyle, and then you can use your health insurance :). If by ‘roof’ you mean to have a house with five bedrooms and mortgage, then I don’t think she needs it. You can find places with low rent (tip: world is a big place 😉 ).

Chris – questions about Internet and phone bills… Buy pay as you go card, and call only when there’s an emergency. Internet – live above a place with free wifi, share wifi with neighbors, ‘steal’ it (I believe Internet should be free). School bills? How about homeschooling? Much cheaper, and the child will actually learn something, and will spent their time with their parents.

I work half an year in a corporate world, half an year I take a vacation. I’m 28, and hopefully, in some time I’ll pull it off with full time vacation plan ;). Good luck everyone. And Matilda – great article.

    anonymous Nov 7, 2014 9:48am

    I don't think she meant " to each their own" as a negative nazi reference. And for you to find a correlation between the two is ridiculous. I'm sure u came from a very intitled well off family in upperclass white America and that's why you can take half a year off for vacation. It's not because you worked for it.

      anonymous Nov 9, 2014 6:24am

      And finding correlation between my post and my family's financial standing and social status, my race and geographical location isn't ridiculous? 🙂 The whole characterization is a total miss, though you got the part 'white', Sherlock.
      You take half an year of vacation by having a partner who works during that time, and then you switch. And also, not spending money on everything that is shiny and new and 'because everyone else has it'.

        anonymous Dec 7, 2014 7:05am

        Because someone enjoys a job, it makes them a slave to society? You really make me laugh. You're just as bad as you make society out to be. They have to live by going against social norms or else they can't have to happiness? Hahaha.

    anonymous Dec 8, 2014 1:52pm

    I find it ironic how she dislikes taxes but uses "free" resources like libraries which are only available through taxation. I have nothing against her lifestyle, but I find it a bit selfish that she won't hesitate to use resources made possible by others paying for them. Also inevitably she'll get sick at some point, and most likely go to a hospital without health insurance..what happens then? There is a distinction between living this idealistic free spirited lifestyle, and being a burden on society. I can guarantee that at the rate the author is going, she already is a burden.

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 10:34am

I love living a lot like this also, I don't know quite how I would manage, however, without my rich boyfriend bankrolling my care-free lifestyle (truth) I'm blessed 🙂

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 9:54am

I enjoyed this article and am glad you are able to lead such a free life. To the questios on how you pay rent, I noticed it said this author wrote a popular book. Maybe that pays some bills and I'm sure she'll be writing more.

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 9:37am

Same question as Brandon van Dyk. I like what you say, but honestly, how do you have a place to live?

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 9:05am

I enjoy my work and find gardening quite boring….I sit at my desk, having a fantastic time, thinking – I really should go out into the garden, but I rarely do…I happily work all weekend and nip to the local co-op for food – naughty I know – but each to their own!! x

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 6:54am

My husband and I quit a 20 year career and started a small ebay company we run out of our home. I hope to never go back to a 40 hr + lifestyle again. He volunteers with kids and I volunteer about 2 hours a day with dogs at the local shelter. We ride our motorcycle all over the place in the summer and get to spend time with our grandson. We do not make near as much as we used do, but it's plenty to have a great life.

    anonymous Apr 4, 2016 10:31am

    Do tell more! How does one begin. Rent is the killer.

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 4:24am

For how long can you last like this my dear? how do you pay your phone bill, the internet bill?

What about your kids in the future if you want any? Does your garden pay their school bills?

    anonymous Nov 23, 2014 11:08am

    If one needs the internet, the library is close by!

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 3:22am

I hope you never get sick and need health insurance. Or find yourself without a roof over your head and sufficient means to support yourself, or friends / family to prop you up. The corporate world is hard, it can be materialistic and unfulfilling in some respects. However to truly succeed in that environment takes resilience, considerable effort and skill in the particular industry. If I died tomorrow and this is what I had achieved, I would certainly be proud – perhaps more so than if I had done a lot of yoga and tended to chickens. The corporate world is also not devoid of the opportunity to be creative – it just depends on your definition. It's not always a question of compromised morals and society's expectations but your own vision of success. The point is, to each their own.

    anonymous Nov 28, 2014 12:03pm

    "If I died tomorrow and this is what I had achieved, I would certainly be proud – perhaps more so than if I had done a lot of yoga and tended to chickens."

    Really? You want to be proud when you are dead?

    anonymous Jan 22, 2015 2:34am

    That's the thing about health insurance from your job that people don't get. You only have it as long as you're healthy enough to work. Once you go through your PTO/sick time, if you can't pay your premiums, you lose your insurance.

anonymous Nov 5, 2014 10:22pm

Yes, that's the one thing I'm stuck on – mortgage :/ I dream of this life – trying to persuade my husband constantly!

anonymous Nov 5, 2014 6:22pm

Just a critical question as I really enjoy your points but need to analyze deeper. How do you pay rent/mortgage?

anonymous Nov 5, 2014 6:13pm

great article! living in the now, embracing each moment. that's all we've got!

anonymous Nov 5, 2014 5:10pm


Great article, love the idea and it really appeals to me. Just a quick question about how you pay the all important rent? I guess you make a bit of money from your yoga classes? I'd love to stop working properly and give private English classes (I live in a Spanish speaking country) in order to live a bit more like you!


anonymous Nov 5, 2014 5:09pm


Great article, love the idea and it really appeals to me. Just a quick question about how you pay the all important rent? I guess you make a bit of money from your yoga classes? I’d love to stop working properly and give private English classes (I live in a Spanish speaking country) in order to live a bit more like you!


anonymous Nov 5, 2014 4:25pm

Thank you so much for this Matilda. I related so much to what you shared here. Bartering yoga for haircuts is one of my favorite exchanges!

Mark Steed Aug 9, 2018 5:17pm

I tried retirement. It wasn't for me. Life is not wasted through work. Work can be a joy.

Liz Phillips Aug 17, 2016 2:04am

Like others here, I feel this article needs a point 6 - How to live rent/ mortgage free

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Matilda A. Juliette

Matilda, Matilda, Matilda. In addition to silly blogs, yummy healthy recipes and reviews, Matilda is the author of the hit novel Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe – Dating and Sexcapades of a Yogi. Come and follow her around.