Here is the second rendition of the “twitter interview”. The rules are that you can ask me “any” question provided that it’s kept to 140 characters in the spirit of twitter. You can ask me either on twitter where I’m known as extremejacob or in the comments below and I will collect the questions for round #3.

@aquadump how do u “vacation”? how much do u sleep? do u keep a reg sched. now?

I am engaged in multiple things simultaneously, so if I get in a rut, I just do something else. Most of my work is creative, which means that forcing myself to work on it when output is not forthcoming results in inferior output and less happiness for that matter. A cycling strategy is, therefore, optimal for me. Since I’m not tied to one particular activity, I can just switch, so I do not need a “vacation” in the traditional sense. I sleep 7-8 hours a day. Sometimes 9. I do not keep any schedules whatsoever beyond not neglecting my projects for too long. To me, scheduling is kinda like budgeting. External control is fine and perhaps even required if you have no internal guards, but if you do, external constraints are somewhat superfluous.

Kevin M What books/blogs/websites did you use to learn the options game? Your comments, along with my boss who is an options person, has me really intrigued.

I think is a good online site. Some good books include Cohen, Natenberg, and McMillan. These are fairly general. I have also read quite a bit on the underlying mathematics and pricing models. If you trade anything with an open volume over 1000 options for a given strike price and date, you can probably be reasonable sure that that market is efficient. I am reluctant to suggest specific strategy books or recommend stocks for that matter since people are apt to take those suggestions on authority and this is a dangerous attitude/way of *not thinking* when it comes to investing. Here I can only recommend reading a ton of books keeping in mind that investment books often read like autobiographies; meaning that using the ideas of the book is okay, but do not try to replicate them 100%

@MoneyEnergy what tips can you give for sharing the ERE regimen with one’s spouse/partner? What’s difficult, what’s necessary to agree on?

The most important thing is to pick the right spouse. If your spouse puts a lot of his or her self-worth into materialism, like wearing the right clothes, driving the right car, being seen in the right places, living on the right address, and generally being a socioeconomic snob, ERE will be next to impossible. Otherwise the main tip is letting your spouse come to you after you have showed things through your own example. It is necessary to agree on all common expenses, particularly the large ones. This frequently involves a compromise and that is probably the most difficult. However, arguments frequently arise out of not having considered all possibilities. For instance, I was bent on living in a tumbleweed and DW did not want to live in one. I then figured that she didn’t want to go for an RV either, but was much surprised when this was acceptable. If a compromise can not be agreed on, I suggest that the expense no longer be shared. For instance, DW pays the cable subscription in this “house”. I would also suggest separate savings accounts if you disagree on the savings rate, etc.

Nicolas Out of curiosity, how would the plan go should a kid come along (if that’s in the plans of course).

Alex I second the question from Nicolas, especially if one would like to have the kid in their mid-20s (or in the middle of the 5-year retirement plan).

@fiscalgeek Would you change your plan if you had small children if so how? Do you think this would be a positive situation for them?

@FrugalDad How would having children affect your plans? Early retirement seems nearly impossible for me – a husband and father of two.

Many people have asked me this so I wrote a post some time ago. Click here to read it. I think ERE would be a hugely positive situation for the children when they are young, having one (or two) parents at home with them. It is much superior to the two income situation where parents see their children for only a couple of hours each day and then race around to activities in the weekends. Besides it saves $1500/month in daycare. For older children, I think it is important to see their parents engaged in some kind of productive capacity. After all, children listen to what you do, not what you say, so you need to set an example that will result in them eventually being able to take care of themselves. ERE could be a dangerous situation if all you do is drawing down your savings and being unproductive. As for the cost of children, it varies tremendously. They basically cost as much as you can spend. There are, probably many, children out there whose rooms are bigger than our combined living space for two adults (and a dog), and equally many concerned parents, who believe that children will be permanently damaged if they don’t have their own rooms and don’t get to shop at the mall, or go to Disneyworld, and have a TV in their room, etc. Obviously, if we had children (and we don’t plan to), we would focus more on spending time with them rather than spending money on them. So in my opinion having one parent stay at home is mandatory. I consider day-care and the likes to be one of the great tragedies of the past 50 years. I want to know how our grandparents and parents could “survive” on a single income, when we apparently can’t—aren’t we supposed to be “wealthier”?

@aquadump how do u recognize events like anniv., bday’s, etc?

I usually plan these things far in advance in the sense that I try to negotiate how to get out of these arrangements. There is a certain personality type that thrives on arranging such events, you know, selling cookies, collecting money for coworker gifts, sending cards, arranging parties, and making banners for the soccer team, while expecting everybody else to be as enthusiastic about it as they are. I think many secretly resent this but most go along just to be nice. I, however, am really good at saying “no” and I generally try to be “out of town” when the event comes around. I think being nice to anyone should not be concentrated around birth days, xmas, or anniversaries. Essentially, I try to ignore these events and give spontaneous gifts, etc. instead, that is, when it is fitting rather than when the calendar demands it.

I am keeping a backlog of questions that weren’t answered in this round for Twitter inrerview #3. But keep new ones coming anyway.