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Nice article on MSN.com by Liz Pullman.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/RetirementandWills/RetireEarly/RetireEarlyDyn.aspx?cp-documentid=5424171

Think it's impossible to retire in your 40s? I'd like you to meet some ordinary folks who have done it.

"Ordinary" may be a misnomer, because retiring after just 20 years or so in the workplace is an extraordinary act, and most took extraordinary measures to get where they are. But they're ordinary in the sense that they were working people with pretty regular jobs. They didn't strike it rich with stock options, inheritances or the lottery.

Most of them have kids. Most lived in high-cost areas -- Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., suburban New Jersey. Most didn't start really saving until their 30s (although the one who started at 28 wound up retiring at 35).

Their retirements look different from the retirements depicted on television. These folks don't live on the golf course or roam the country in 32-foot recreational vehicles. Most, in fact, are actually still working -- but usually part time and in their own businesses, doing things they feel strongly about. They've retired from the 9-to-5 world, but not from their passions.


Click on the link and read several real life examples of early retirees. Well worth the read and covers some of the FIRE concepts discussed in the "discourage" thread by fredinseoul.

decath
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>>
There were some bumps along the way. His wife didn't share his sense of mission, and they parted ways.
>>

That one is on the short list of "prices I would not pay for getting to retire by 35".
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They didn't strike it rich with stock options, inheritances or the lottery.

No, they struck it rich in real estate. "Her savings strategy, coupled with a boost in Brad's income and a cooperative real-estate market . . . The Bolons sold their townhouse for a tidy profit"

That said, the concept is sound. Going by 5% withdrawal rate, you need 20X annual expenses in savings to be able to retire. If your expenses are half your income, then you need 10X income in savings. And by definition, if you're saving half your income, you can save 10X in 20 years. Figure in compounding, and that's quite feasible to do in not much more than 10 years. I'm even ahead of that track myself, with over 1.5X income saved after about three years of true full-time working and saving.


bingocards wrote:

>His wife didn't share his sense of mission, and they parted ways.

That one is on the short list of "prices I would not pay for getting to retire by 35".


I'd gladly do it, and am. If one can retire at 35 single, or at 45 married, then that means one spent 10 years working solely to have a spouse. Ask Patzer or BklynBrn around here about how liberating it is to get away from a spouse who won't get on the savings bandwagon. "You can't outsave a spender."

- Erik, lone wolf
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"You can't outsave a spender."

"The Millionaire Next Door" said the worst hit one could take in "making" a million was getting divorced. In essence, you net worth is cut in half immediately.

However, having been there and done that, if you upgrade with your next marriage, it is well worth it. Divorce set retirment back about 10 years, second marriage moved it forward 15.

JLC
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"The Millionaire Next Door" said the worst hit one could take in "making" a million was getting divorced. In essence, you net worth is cut in half immediately.

However, having been there and done that, if you upgrade with your next marriage,


In some cases, the divorce itself can be enough of an upgrade to be worth the expense.
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Ecks sold the condo for $235,000, and the couple rented a house for a while before buying an old houseboat for $3,100. They had it towed to a marina in south San Francisco where Ecks could also moor his 30-year-old, 27-foot sailboat. Berth rent and a live-aboard fee set the couple back $600 a month. Ecks figures his total monthly expenses run about $1,500

I'm completely surprised by this - is living on a houseboat really so much cheaper than renting an apartment? Aren't boats expensive to maintain? Also, does this guy pay for health insurance? I'm finding it hard to believe that one can live that cheaply in San Francisco (unless one finds housing in a cardboard box).

Rocannon
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Ecks sold the condo for $235,000, and the couple rented a house for a while before buying an old houseboat for $3,100. They had it towed to a marina in south San Francisco where Ecks could also moor his 30-year-old, 27-foot sailboat. Berth rent and a live-aboard fee set the couple back $600 a month. Ecks figures his total monthly expenses run about $1,500

I'm completely surprised by this - is living on a houseboat really so much cheaper than renting an apartment? Aren't boats expensive to maintain?


Boats can be very expensive to maintain... but a big part of that expense is acquiring the thing and keep it up to date with the neatest new toys (and keeping those new toys operational). Motors are also a big part of the expense.

Note that Ecks apparently isn't even keeping the motor operational on his houseboat, and he acquired it cheap. So what would you guess he sinks into equipping it with all the neatest new toys for boaters?
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So what would you guess he sinks into equipping it with all the neatest new toys for boaters?

But he said his monthly expenses were $1500. So you think he meant "monthly necessary expenses"?

I'm still wondering about the health insurance. The problem with these MSN articles is that they don't go into sufficient detail.

Rocannon
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So what would you guess he sinks into equipping it with all the neatest new toys for boaters?

But he said his monthly expenses were $1500. So you think he meant "monthly necessary expenses"?


No, I think he spends less on maintaining his houseboat than he would on maintaining a house & yard. Specifically he does NOT buy expensive new gadgets and toys for boats, to install in his houseboat.

I'm still wondering about the health insurance.

Don't know about that one, but I don't see that the houseboat has much to do with it.
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