The New Rich: Don’t Defer Your Dreams for Retirement

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Tim Ferriss. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Who are the “New Rich” according to Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Workweek? What sets the New Rich apart from everyone?

According to Tim Ferriss, there are two types of people. Deferrers work until they retire, and wait until then to live their dreams. The New Rich find ways to make money with less work, giving them more time to live their dreams now.

Read more about deferrers vs. the New Rich and how it works.

Deferrers vs. the New Rich

There are two types of people, Deferrers (D), and the New Rich (NR). Type D people follow cultural conventions. They work for 30-40 years of their life and then retire. Type NR people reject these norms. Instead, they alternate work and periods of rest. The 4HWW lifestyle is a specific version of the New Rich lifestyle.

There are several differences between Deferrers and the New Rich:

  • Deferrers want to work for themselves, while the NR want others to work for them.
  • Deferrers want to work on their schedules, while the New Rich don’t want to do any work they don’t have to.
  • Deferrers want to retire quickly, while the NR want to have “retirement” periods throughout their whole lives, with the goal of doing exciting things during these times rather than simply not working.
  • Deferrers want to be able to afford everything they want, while the New Rich want to do and be everything they want. (The New Rich can buy things if they want, but they don’t focus on material items.)
  • Deferrers want to be the boss, while the NR want to be the owners—this way they can disengage from work.
  • Deferrers want to make a lot of money to have money, while the New Rich want to make a lot of money so they can use it to do something they want to do.
  • Deferrers want more of everything, while the NR want quality over quantity.
  • Deferrers want a big payday, while the NR focus on daily payday.
  • Deferrers want to stop doing things they don’t want to. The New Rich want this too, but they don’t simply want to not do things, they want to live their dreams.

For example, Olympic skier Dale Begg-Smith is a member of the NR. When he was thirteen, he started an IT company with his brother to finance his ski training. Sometimes, he had to miss practices to help run the business, but in spite of his imperfect attendance, Begg-Smith was just as good a skier as his teammates. However, because his coach succumbed to the status quo, he forced Begg-Smith to choose between the team and his business. Begg-Smith moved to Australia (their team had a more flexible coach) and kept working at both his business and his skiing. At the next Olympics, he won gold in mogul freestyle.

The New Rich: Don’t Defer Your Dreams for Retirement

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Here's what you'll find in our full The 4-Hour Workweek summary :

  • The 4-step process to live a "retired" lifestyle now
  • Find out if you're wasting the best years of your life working a 9-5
  • How to create a business that makes you money without sucking up your time

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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