After years of commitment, dedication, and hard work, your early retirement plan has come together nicely
By living well below your means and investing in stocks and bonds, total assets have eclipsed $1 million, 25x your budgeted annual spending of $40k/year (all in 2014 inflation adjusted dollars, of course)
Everything you’ve read says that if you remain flexible, this should be enough to provide a relatively constant standard of living for the next 50 years, a must for somebody retiring in their mid 30s
The last few years at work have been a little stressful, so it will be nice to take time to recharge before diving into your new life’s ambitions… a little travel, learning a new language, writing a novel, communing with nature, creating music and art… all of the things that were put on hold due to the demands of career
People are a little confused on your last day of work. “But… what will you do all day?” “You are going to live off of your investments? I could never do that, the stock market is too risky” “How could you save so much, we can’t seem to save anything”
Your coworkers mean well, but their questions remind you of why you felt so compelled to gain freedom from the need to work in the first place. You walk out the door, a weight lifting off your shoulders for the first time in years (more…)
Trinity University: Birthplace of Early Retirement Research
So you want to retire. Perhaps even earlier than most people.
Sounds like a great idea. But… How much (or how little) money do you need? $500k? $1 million? $10 million? What is your retirement number?
Pick a number that is too low, and you might end up begging for change, working at Wal-Mart, or worse. Pick a number that is too high, and perhaps trade years of life working for money that will benefit only your heirs
Determining the right amount starts with some basic questions
How much does your target retirement lifestyle cost?
How long do you expect to be retired? 15 years? 30 years? 60 years? More?
How many dollars do you want to leave to your children or to charity?
Each person will answer these questions in their own way, with no answer necessarily better than another
“I plan to retire at the age of 57 with a cost of living of $10,000/month, mostly for golf club membership and my wine collection. Society never gave me nothing, and I’ll return the favor.”
“We will retire in our 30s to travel the globe, which we estimate will average around $3,000 per month. Ideally we will leave behind a large endowment to fund charitable hospitals”
There are other important questions that are more subtle and nuanced
Do I have to change my shorts every time the stock market drops?
Am I so set in my ways that I will refuse to make life changes regardless of the cost?
“Wow, 2008 was a wild ride! Stocks dropped 50%, but businesses took advantage of opportunities and made changes to enable future growth. Next time that happens, if our cash flow isn’t what we would like we can spend next year in South America instead of Europe”
“I don’t care what it costs, I’m driving the stretch RV to Florida every winter and dining on steak and lobster every night! And those Wall Street guys are crooks! No way am I putting my money in the stock market”
Somebody with low risk tolerance and great resistance to change will need a larger bank account than somebody that goes with the flow and enjoys a bit of excitement.
For better or worse, the older we get the less any of these things matter. But for somebody that plans to retire extremely early, all of these factors are of utmost importance
With all of this complexity, no wonder every bit of retirement advice in the press seems contradictory or not actionable.
Fortunately, some really smart people found a way to cut to the core of the question, “What is your retirement number?”
Two and a half years ago, Winnie and I left the working world behind to pursue a life of travel and adventure. By becoming Financially Independent, we were able to become Location Independent, and we used this new found freedom to begin exploring the world and our passions
In a world obsessed with bigger houses, faster cars, and luxury for the sake of luxury, we are a little odd. So odd, that when our story was shared in some mainstream media it went super viral.
If our lifestyle sounds like an interesting and exciting alternative, this post will outline a recipe to duplicate our success and put you on the path to living life on your own terms
Conceptually, retiring in your 30’s is quite simple, albeit not necessarily easy.