Guess I was a moustachian (UK spelling) long before MMM - stressing myself as a lawyer to the point of a breakdown and suicidal thoughts in the UK in the early 80's I was 'saved' by the brilliant BBC comedy series "The Good Life" and John Seymour's books on the self-sufficient life in my native Suffolk.
As a result my wife and I gave up the rat-race - she was deputy editor of the local paper - sold up everything and moved to New Zealand to be far from the madding crowd. This was in 1990 when I was 40 and I haven't done a day's 'work' since although my wife took a job as part-time secretary to our local and tiny primary school.
The move to New Zealand enabled us to purchase a lovely house and 10-acres debt-free in a beautiful coastal area with sufficient left to invest in a varied, though all-paper portfolio. Before finding this site I had nothing serious underlying the math of what we were doing - just a back-of-the-envelope calculation that the portfolio should on the basis of historic returns be enough to provide for us as well as keeping pace with the effect of moderate inflation. Now, with 23-years experience and having survived a couple of global financial crashes as well as a crippling rise in value of the $NZ as a result of Wall Street's looting of the US, I can more than confirm MMM's 4% rule. We have lived it and are wealthier now than we were when we 'retired' 23-years ago despite the fact I'm still not 65.
However we do have some non-Moustachian helps - and hindrances. Perhaps the biggest help is that we never had children - a huge saving financially and, I have to say, something neither my wife nor I regret even now when it's far too late to reconsider. I have a strong suspicion that anyone born in the last twenty years might have cause to curse their parents for world they were bequeathed, with global warming, peak oil, peak water, a collapsing ecosystem, WMD's in the hands of lunatics, 'democratic processes' favouring the handing of power to immoral sociopaths, et al.
Another major advantage we have enjoyed is two housecows giving us >2-gallons daily of free full-cream milk for coffee, butter, cheeses and yoghurt, plus 400kg of organic beef for the freezer's anually, a six-head flock of sheep giving us wool and mutton, chickens for meat and eggs, a bay full of fish and sea-food at the bottom of the road, a benign climate supporting all-year-round veg from the garden and our own apple, pear, citrus and avocado orchards and thousands of acres of woodland on the surrounding hills providing free firewood for our cooking and house-and-water heating needs.
Also on the plus side is New Zealand's social services - free healthcare and accident compensation + universal superannuation to come. And on the one occasion we did need it an emergency helicopter flew in to take one of us to hospital - as an ambulance would have taken hours just to get here - at no cost to us.
Our anti-moustachian downside is the price of our lovely location - it's a 2.5 hour drive to our nearest town for the essentials we need, over a poor and mountainous road making a grunty car an essential - when we do go to town we need space to hold a lot of shopping and/or some major items and we need 4-WD with a high clearance to deal with the worst that an in places unpaved rural road can throw at us in the winter. So although we try to go to town only once a month, our fuel bill is still not very dissimilar to our monthly supermarket bill and probably our greatest single regular outlay.
And having two cows to milk twice a day means we haven't been able to take a vacation for, oh, 15 years. Still that's less of a consideration when you live in a place other people take vacations to.
The one problem I have faced with moustachianism is filling the time. There are always little things to do around the place, but still there are times when, depite everything, having 24/7 free can make boredom a problem.
In his blog MMM treats security in purely financial terms - having a diversified portfolio, a cash reserve, the ability to earn again if necessary - but my ultimate security is that if the shit really, really hit the fan I think I am living in one of the few places in the world today where I could survive in reasonable safety and comfort even if money had no value at all.