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So in the end, the OP has to weigh the tradeoffs and make some decisions about how important early retirement is relative to vacations and travel. Only the OP can decide that.

Along these lines...

The title of the thread is "On Target?" In the first post, the OP states that the goal is to retire in early/mid 50s and gives some financial information. If all the OP only wants to know is if he is on a path for that goal, then we can simply say one thing -- "NO" -- and move on.

But the OP did say "Thoughts are appreciated" at the end of the post. So, one would assume giving suggestions on how to actually meet that goal would be appropriate. The clearest suggestion is to reduce the travel budget and increase the amount being set aside for retirement. Anyone that is being critical of that suggestion is ignoring the OPs own post. (That would include the OP if he wants to criticize the suggestions.)

As I said in my post, the OP will eventually be able to retire if he is setting 11% of his income aside each year. But it won't be an early retirement. Running the calculations and assuming:
(1) Retirement starts when he has 20 times his annual income set aside;
(2) Inflation adjusted growth of 5%/yr (6% is just too optimistic for me);
(3) Retirement contributions grow with inflation;
(4) Current age is 33;
(5) Current retirement portfolio is 1.09 times his annual income ($60K in retirement portfolio divided by $55K annual income).

Using these assumptions, the OP would be able to retire at age 71. If we assumed he only needed 15 years income to safely retire, he would be able to retire at 66.

On the other hand, if we take $2000 out of the travel budget and move it to the retirement budget, this increases the amount he is saving for retirement from 11% of him annual income to 15%. With this change, he hits 20 years income at age 68 and 15 years income at age 63. Not a huge difference, but it is a real difference.

If the OP wants to retire at 55, he has to DRAMATICALLY ramp up his retirement savings. To reach 15 years income by 55, he needs to be saving 28% of his income annually; to reach 20 years income by 55, he needs to be saving about 40% of his income.

So, I would say the answer to "On Target" is an emphatic NO! And maybe those that are suggesting decreasing the vacations should have stopped there and not bothered giving the thoughts that are supposedly appreciated.

Acme
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