Friday, March 28, 2008

Early Retirement Stories

Early retirement is a concept that seems to have many different definitions. Of course, everyone agrees that the entire household choosing not to work and living off savings is early retirement. I've also seen the following early retirement definitions: leaving a corporate job and starting a business, reducing hours worked or only one spouse working. Specifically, some people think of early retirement as leaving their day jobs and starting their own business. Other people consider working less hours in their own business early retirement. Finally, some people think of it on a individual level, i.e. one spouse retires (or quits working) while the other continues working.

Here are some stories about the different types of early retirement. Can You Afford An Extreme Early Retirement by shares stories about couples without kids who retired in their thirties and forties. Their approach was to save a lot while working and spend a little while retired, with yearly expenses ranging from under $10,000 to $24000 per year. Extreme early retirement experiences, also by, shares stories about range of people, including families with children, one spouse retiring, reducing to part time work and selling one's business. Retired by 50: Real Life Stories on has two stories about a families with children that retired early. In one case, the family significantly cut expenses and moved to a lower cost of living region. In the other case, the family quit their jobs and "retired" to a franchise business. The last story was about a couple that worked in their own businesses and then sold them to retire.

Overall, I was pleased to read about people in many different situations retiring early. (Sometimes it seems that couples with no kids or successful business owners are the predominant types retiring early:-) Also, while each early retirement had different specifics, there seemed to be some consistent themes:
  • Make retiring early an explicit goal. Then plan to do it.
  • Save a lot, early and often. In some cases, the early retirees saved up to 50% of their income.

  • Make choices to reduce expenses. Many early retirees chose to reduce or eliminate "normal" expenses such as new cars, cable television, or eating out. Some even chose to move to lower cost of living areas.

  • Say "no" to debt. These early retirees typically had no debt or only a home mortgage.

  • For more on Reaping the Rewards Reflections , check back every Friday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or retirement advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

    1 comment: said...

    Early retirement is truly a reality if you do you research, make good investment choices and evaluate them often.