Free at 45 – Book Review and Giveaway

freeat45Timothy Stobbs, the author of the book Free at 45 – How to Retire Early and Happy (link), may be better known to you as the blogger behind Canadian Dream – Free at 45.  Tim recently completed his book project and contacted me to help spread the word with a review.  I must admit that I’m always impressed by bloggers who have time for a full time job, a full time blog, kids AND a book.  Personally, I have no idea how I would find time to write a book with my current obligations, so before I start the review I’d like to extend a congratulations to Tim!

As I’ve been following Tim’s journey since he started his blog (around the same time as MDJ) I must admit that I was eager to dig into his latest creation.  The book, as the title suggests, gives advice on the steps required to achieve early retirement, but more importantly, how to do so happily.  You might expect that a personal finance blogger would write a book on early retirement completely based on numbers, how much to save etc, but this book includes refreshing perspective of the psychological aspects of retirement.

About the Author

In addition to the previously mentioned details about the author, here is what the book says:

Tim Stobbs is a personal finance writer who has written for the Toronto Star and the popular blog “Canadian Dream: Free at 45”.  Tim’s straightforward approach to happiness and finances has resulted in interviews with The National Post, The Globe & Mail and CBC Radio’s “The Current”.  He lives in Regina, SK.

About the Book

The book overall is a great resource for those considering retirement, whether it’s early or not.  Tim’s beliefs about personal finance and retirement align with much of my own, which is perhaps why I found the book to be such an easy read.  What topics are covered?  Out of the numerous chapters, it appears that the book has three main themes:

1. Retirement Psychology

  • Why do you want to retire?
  • Finding Happiness
  • Where’s the Money Going Now?
  • Are we Happy Now?
  • Changing the View of Your Job and Working After Retirement
  • Learning the Art of Leisure

2. The Money

  • Finding the Money
  • Compound Savings
  • Free Money
  • Inflation
  • RRSPs, TFSAs and Taxable Accounts

3. Moving Forward

  • Living and Dying
  • Pulling the Numbers Together
  • Safety is a Very Expensive Illusion
  • The Backup Plan
  • When to Pull the Plug
  • The Day after Tomorrow
  • Going to Extremes

Want a Free Copy?

The author is offering Million Dollar Journey readers the chance to win a free copy of the book.  The details are below:

  1. Tell me about your retirement plans (age, nest egg amount etc) by clicking here. (+1 entry)
  2. Follow me on twitter (+1 entry)
  • Only one comment entry per person (valid email addresses only please – privacy policy).
  • Contest will end Sat 5pm EST April 23, 2011 and the winner, drawn randomly, will be contacted shortly after!

I've Completed My Million Dollar Journey. Let Me Guide You Through Yours!

Sign up below to get a copy of our free eBook: Can I Retire Yet?

Posted in


FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 years ago

One thing I find incredibly absurd is how vast swaths of (educated!) people enter the work force with the dream of leaving it as soon as possible. Bizarre.

The first chapter in this book is “Why Do You Want to Retire?”
Perhaps before that people need to ask, “Why Do You Want to Work?”.

If the answer is “just for the money so you can retire as fast as possible”, then simply choose the career/job that doles out the greatest amount of money. Anything else is the wrong choice. If you are working just for the money, it doesn’t matter what you do, right?

Instead of struggling to fight your way out of a position in which you don’t want to be, in hopes of entering incredibly rare air space (millionairedom), why not start off doing something you truly want and work as hard at that as you do at escape?

That plan would involve far greater, prolonged, and diverse wealth to all.

7 years ago

31, both my wife and I have pensions which kick in at 55, but neither of us plan on working that long. knowledge is power, read and learn with every opportunity, learn what others have done and found to work. many millionaires live well below their means, its not always what you make but what you dont spend – live simply, small house but its enough, live a little further away from a major employer, bit more of a commute but housing prices are less than half. Entrepreneur on the side, take advantage of all available tax deductions and options available, part of what you dont spend is only giving the gov’t what you really need to. Opted to focus on TFSAs instead of RRSPs for now as income after retirement will likely be higher and taxed heavier.

10 years ago

Age 35, Family of 4 (me,wife, 2 children aged 8 and 10). I work full time, wife is part time.
Planning for early retirement. Exact age not yet set, but at latest 55, with the options open for earlier. 50 sounds good.
Maxed out RSP, TFSA, RESP
Mortgage/Loans to be done in 5-10 years
Living frugal, keep expenses low, and continue with steady debt repayment.
We work/live/play all in the same town to keep transportation to a minimum.
Spend less than you make… <50% !

10 years ago

39, married with 2 elementary school kids. $1.6M portfolio plus a principal residence worth $500K. We have been debt free for 8 years. Would like to retire in 4 years at age 43 with $2.5M portfolio. Portfolio has a yield of about 2.5%, want to bump that up to around 3.5%.

10 years ago

Age 45,retired ,”freedom 42!”.My hubby still works,47,but only 6 months of the year.NO mortgage,paid a couple of years ago.We paid $120,000 off as quick as humanly possible:6 yrs.Maxed out rrsp cont.Lived below our means.Just got back from down south.Been spending winter there last few years,4 months.One teenager.Mixed bag of investments.Self taught in stock market.Avid reader.Husband makes less than $100,000.Not what you make…it’s what you SPEND.AS our friends say…we are living the dream.

10 years ago

age 42, 1.5million net worth. Will retire at 55 b/c I want my pension and medical/dental benefits. max out on TFSA. No room for RRSP b./c it went to the pension plan. Just hope I live long enough to enjoy it. People are dying off all around me.

Shaun Somers
10 years ago

Retired (or have the option to retire, as I love my job currently) at age 50. I have no debt now other than a mortgage I want to be done with by age 45. For retirement, a combination of rental properties, a dividend-stock portfolio, TFSA and RRSP, combined with simple living.
I fully intend to continue helping people get control of their personal finance and achieve financial peace, as I do now part-time. I doubt there will be any lack of people in need of such help twenty years from now (unfortunately).

10 years ago

46, net worth 1M. Don’t know when I’ll retire. Would need 2-3 M to retire with current lifestyle. I actually really like my job!

10 years ago

Too late for 45, but I read these columns with interest nevertheless. Currently going the TFSA route, with some slim RRSP savings and no mortgage or debt.

10 years ago

51 years old. I started saving at 31 years old. At the time, I had $73.00 in a savings account and approximately 93K in debt. My motivation for starting to save was simple. I was laid off from my job. Currently I have $450K in RRSPs, 17K in TFSA, 700K in rental real estate, and 850K of investable money. Our princiapl residence is valued at 500K. No debt. I’m considering spending some money in early retirment, rather than leaving it all to our two adult children, or possibly my wife and what will be her new found and much younger male companion. Also, I’m too damn cheap to cough up the money for the book myself. :)