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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/503-and-a-wake-up-12578710.aspx

Subject:  503 and a Wake Up Date:  5/16/2000  3:01 PM
Author:  readyteddy Number:  9461 of 844188

When I was in the Army back in the late 1960's and someone asked us how long we had to go before we were out, we would always say "x number of days and a wake up", the wake up being that last day, when you got up, turned in the weapon and all that other crap, got paid, signed the papers and said "AMF" to all the other guys. Don't even ask what "AMF" meant…..you had to be there.

I mention all this because my wife, who retired early seven years ago, asked me the other day when I was going to join her and I said "503 and a wake up!"

Five Oh Three…..hey, that's less time than I spent in the infantry beginning back in 1969. I can do Five Oh Three standing on my head!

I turn 55 in Five Oh Three and I am out of here! The way I see it, my income after taxes should be just what I am making now and my expenses are going to be at least $700 a month less. I am going to make it!

There are different ways to do this, but for those of you who cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, permit this old fool to share some of his observations on the art of the early retirement.

1. Live Below Your Means. My car is 10 years old. It looks fine, it runs fine. Can I afford a flashy car? Sure, but I would rather retire early. Remember the story about the guy who wanted a big Cadillac? He worked and worked and finally got the car. The guy worked himself to death but he didn't care, and he loved the car so much he asked to be buried in it. So the funeral proc