This article was first posted July 24, 2006.
Passion Saving author Rob Bennett is a self-proclaimed financial advisor and career counselor who famously quit his high-paying job with accounting firm Ernst & Young in August 2000 to retire on a $400,000 nest egg invested entirely in fixed income securities. The fact that Rob was only 43 years of age at the time, lives in the Washington D.C. area, and heads a household with a stay-at-home Mom and two small boys made the decision all the more baffling to those who understand the risks and perils of an early retirement plan that might require funding 50 or 60 years of living expenses.
The last six years haven't been kind to the Bennett household. Their living expenses have increased at a rate far higher than inflation (as measured by the CPI.) In 2005, they had annual expenses of $38,000 which amounted to almost a 10% withdrawal from their $400,000 nest egg -- a clearly unsustainable rate. Indeed, Bennett recently lamented that he lacks the money to take his two small boys to Disney World.
Most financial experts believe that it is irresponsible and selfish for a husband and father in his mid-40's to voluntarily quit a job with a six-figure salary and attempt to retire on only $400,000 in savings. Over 80% of the respondents in a recent poll on the subject thought the same.
Bailing out your failed retirement plan with the death of a loved one.
Some recent writings from Rob (hocus) Bennett have led a number of analysts to conclude that he's waiting for the timely death of a wealthy relative to bail out his failed retirement.
Of course, with the continuing improvements in medicine and health care, seniors are living longer. Indeed, Americans over the age of 100 are the fastest growing demographic group. It seems foolhardy to bet the success of your retirement plan on the timely death of a loved one. On the other hand, Rob Bennett's annoying behavior and long-winded, valueless postings try the patience of many. One community member speculated that a daily two-hour visit from hocus over the space of a few weeks would sap the will to live of even the most robust senior citizen.
What do the members of the Financial Freedom community think? We've provided a poll below to gauge the reaction.