A great part of being able to early-retire is frugal living and one of the key modern threats is the motorcar and specifically that sub-species the SUV. All that finance, maintenance and running cost could easily fast track your early retirement date by decades. Read any website devoted to spreading the ER dream and sooner or later you’ll encounter sentiment similiar to this.
I totally get the “ditch the car, ride a bike or public transport” thing. Totally do.
But here’s the thing. This is Johannesburg, not some first world city with good infrastructure and decent governance. It’s different here. Don’t get me wrong. I acknowledge that there is [some semblance] of public transport but honestly, in the interests of personal safety, I choose not to use it. Period. As for cycling – yeah, would love to but again choose not to at this stage because of safety concerns and distance to the office. You could argue “sell up and move closer” but that would quash our very last reason to live here in Jhb, in a house we’ve renovated and a view we love.
The same goes for the the whole ER research thing, 4% rules, first-world statistics and social security safety nets. It’s not the same here!
That said you may be thinking I’m just making excuses, opting out of the ER-Dream and the hard work it takes to step off the treadmill. Not so. All I’m saying is that you can’t just take USA-based case studies and dump them in Africa and expect everything to just work the same. There are huge differences between the two locations that require the hopeful ER’r consider and adjust to.
So no. I won’t be ditching the 2008 high-mileage 4×4 double cab any time soon. I will keep driving and maintaining it for as long as is financially viable. So MR MM and followers [of which I am one] – please don’t judge a book by it’s cover. When you see me driving the aggressive, pot-holed, life-threatening Jo’burg roads in my 4×4 you should probably first get to know me, my lifestyle, my reasons for my choices, before lumping me in with the woolly masses.
That said, I have to totally agree with the article link above. Some things are just excessive !