A practical action guide for financial independence and early retirement from the popular Our Next Life blogger. In today's work culture, we're expected to hustle around the clock. But what if you could escape the traditional path and get on one that doesn't require working full-time until age 65? What if you could wake up every day without an alarm clock and do the things you love most?
Tanja Hester and her husband Mark left their crazed careerist lifestyle to live their dream life in Lake Tahoe, retiring early from high-stress careers. Now Tanja will help you map out a customized plan for freedom and make it easy to succeed, whether you're good at math and budgeting -- or not! Work Optional is more than just a financial plan: it's a plan for your whole life -- designed by you, not by an employer or clients. Tanja walks you through envisioning your dream life, accounting for variables such as health care and children, protecting yourself from recessions and future unknowns, and achieving a purpose-filled early retirement, semi-retirement, or career intermission with completely doable, non-penny-pinching steps.
You can live a happier, more meaningful life, free from the daily grind. Regardless of where you are in your career, Work Optional will get you there.
About the Author
Tanja Hester worked as a consultant before retiring at age 38 to live a life of adventure and creativity with her husband, Mark Bunge. She is the writer of the award-winning blog Our Next Life, an influencer within the FIRE (financial independence/retire early) movement, a columnist for MarketWatch, and co-host of The Fairer Cents podcast about women and financial equality. After spending most of her career in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, she now lives in Lake Tahoe with Mark and two dogs.
Forbes, "Best Early Retirement Blogs to Read!" MarketWatch, "Best Books for FIRE!" Forbes, "Money and Productivity Books You Should Absolutely Read This Summer!" SavingAdvice.com, "Best Money Books By Finance Podcasters"
"Tanja Hester and her partner... achieved early financial independence, and in these pages she takes you on her journey. Learn why so many are firing their bosses and searching for meaning and purpose beyond cubicles and 24/7 jobs."—Vicki Robin, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Your Money or Your Life
"This isn't just a book about how to retire early. It's a book that proves it's possible to be mindful with your spending, and create a life that aligns with your values and passions-and work can play whatever role you want it to." —Cait Flanders, bestselling author of The Year of Less
"Hester's story is relatable, refreshing, and a pleasure to read. All too often we chase external measures of success without thinking about what we truly want from life. In Work Optional, Hester gives us a roadmap for a less traveled path: living a more purpose-driven life through financial independence."—Kristin Wong, author of Get Money: Live the Life You Want, Not Just the Life You Can Afford
"Inspirational, grounded, and thought-provoking, Work Optional cracks open preconceived ideas of what it means to work and what it means to live a fulfilling, purpose-driven life. Go on this adventure to learn not only the practical steps of early retirement, but more importantly, to discern what you truly want out of life. With Hester as your guide... you just might find yourself living a life you never imagined possible."—Elizabeth Willard Thames, author of Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living
get[s] you to think about how you might retire early, forc[ing] you to ponder
how you could cut current spending and increase your income, savings and the
rates they earn."—The New York Times
"Hester is equal parts analytical and encouraging in Work Optional, which helps the reader tear down any misconceptions about what it means to create a life on your terms. This will undoubtedly be a defining handbook for those looking to diverge from society's expectations of a traditional career path."—Erin Lowry, author of Broke Millennial Takes on Investing
"Tanja Hester turns [the dream of early retirement]
into a reality, by guiding you to map out your own plan for living the good
life earlier than you might have originally expected."—Bustle
"Work Optional outlines a realistic yet awe-inspiring path to a life where work is optional. There are plenty of books out there about how to save money and build wealth but if you want to weave financial excellence into a life full of adventure, contribution, and meaning - this is the book for you."—Chad Carson, author of Retire Early with Real Estate
"Financial independence and early retirement are truly the ultimate life hacks, and in the page-turning book Work Optional, Tanja Hester lays out a concrete path to both define your future and help you get there. This newfound freedom gives you the space to focus on what you want out of life: your projects, passions, community and ultimately your happiness."—Brad Barrett, co-host of the ChooseFI podcast
"Financially independent with a bulletproof plan, Tanja gets to the heart of what actually matters in moving forward on your financial journey in Work Optional without resorting to the extremes.... This well-researched book gives you a definitive action plan for creating a life-changing financial position in a two-phased retirement plan that is both realistic and motivating. Tips and tactics abound... in particular... her discussion about healthcare options for those seeking early retirement - a huge area overlooked by many many seeking to make work optional or pursue non-traditional work."—Scott Trench, author of Set for Life: Dominate Life, Money, and the American Dream
a practical approach to this pie-in-the-sky goal [of early retirement], however
much one might earn. She outlines procedures for saving for a full early
retirement but also for partial retirement or just a career sabbatical for
those with fewer financial resources. She walks the reader through every aspect
of this planning, from figuring out your true annual budget to where to invest
for the greatest likelihood of steady passive income later on."—New York Post
"A detailed how-to manual for reorganizing one's life in such a way that leaving the workforce earlier than the traditional age of 65 is entirely manageable....Work Optional will leave you feeling empowered. Hester has left no stone unturned in making your financial plan as bulletproof as possible. It's highly readable and inspiring, too."—Treehugger.com