Book Review – Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt

Bob Clyatt wrote this book in 2007 to detail his journey through early retirement (at age 42) back to semi-retirement. His definition of “semi-retirement” seems to be in line with a lot of FIRE writers – a part time or temp position that allows you to earn additional hours performing work that you generally enjoy. He is another individual who achieved financial independence, but after retiring early, he found that his worry about money and his desires to stay involved led him back to the work world – but only partially.


The books starts out with working on the “whys” of early/semi-retirement (stale work, new ideas, etc.) and then goes into how to prepare for it. He covers some of the difficult steps of moving from work to semi-retirement. A significant portion of the book is dedicated to setting your spending plan and living beneath your means (determining annual spending, retiring outside the US, etc.)


He then goes into investing strategies for the semi-retired, including portfolio theory, rational investing and rebalancing. He provides concrete examples of various portfolios, based on the individuals he interviewed. He also discusses the 4% safe withdrawal rate, and provides backup for the data and results.


Finally, he goes through other aspects of early/semi-retirement. He talks about the advantages of part-time/temp work, volunteer work, health care, etc. In the end, he urges everyone to take simple steps to make their life well-lived.


One of the best parts of the books  are the numerous resources, links and web pages  for the various topics covered. It is here where the  book really proves its value, and it becomes a good read for those of us seeking financial independence and an early or semi-retirement.

Rating 4 stars out of 5

4 thoughts on “Book Review – Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt”

  1. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll add this to the book list . Did the book change your mindset about early retirement? Or was it in line with what you expected going into it?


    1. It was in line with a lot of what you can read on line now, but when I first read it, there wasn’t much FIRE writing up. It certainly helped move me towards planning for/pushing for financial independence, and it helped me realize that it was an “either/or” thing – I could continue to do some work, but enjoy a lot of benefits of more time.

      The resources and links in the book are excellent.


    1. Thanks. I’ll have more reviews in the future.

      Just starting reading your blog a couple of weeks ago – great job!

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