Through a combination of good luck, careful planning, diligent money management, and hard work, my wife and I are in a position where it may be possible for us to retire in two and a half years. We're both 30.We are not dot-com IPO types, nor do we have trust funds or inheritances. We've worked hard, saved our money, invested carefully (but aggressively), and planned ahead. By the summer of 2002 we expect to have an amount of post-tax savings which, invested conservatively, should return enough for us to live well in our hometown without needing to work.It's not that we want to sit on the beach and count our toes for the rest of our lives, but we both agree that:1)The corporate world is not for us, although we are far from afraid of hard work,2)We are not interested in participating in mainstream American consumer culture (e.g., He or She who dies with the most toys wins, but He or She doesn't get to decide what those toys are),3)When we do work, we want it to be on what we consider to be our "life's work"...I want to take a crack at the Great American Novel, and Alicia wants to explore the home catering business,3)We want the freedom to take frequent month-long road trips,4)Our families are more important to us than our careers, and our careers are currently keeping us away from our families, and most of all...5)We want the freedom to spend more than a couple of hours per day together, which is our current average.I'm pretty comfortable with our assumptions about future investment returns and post-retirement income requirements. I've got an MBA and I'm a commodity trader, and my wife is a professional chef, an ex-engineer, and a hell of a good homemaker. Neither of us are day traders...we are of the "buy and hold" ilk. Our projections do not require sustained exponential returns or windfall profits. After retirement we intend to maintain a lifestyle that's comfortable yet simple...in a small town in the southeast where the cost of living is well below that of our current home in New England. I'm somewhat philosophical about this whole process, and as a card-carrying member of Generation X and a fan of Fight Club (a movie which is STRANGELY FOOLISH), I can't allow myself to believe that I am the only person lurking on this forum who's flirting with the idea of getting out of "the game" ASAP, and doing it in style.For me this issue boils down to a few basic questions:1)How much do you need?2)What do you really want from your life?3)Would you rather be at work today, or (fill in the blank here)...4)What's stopping you?OK...Thus spake the Fool.Ed"Empty your pockets, son! They got you thinkin' that what you need is what they sellin'..." - Rage Against The Machine
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