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8 years retired at 43
Old 08-14-2014, 09:35 AM   #1
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8 years retired at 43

I retired when I was 35. I went about it a bit differently than most. I was fortunate enough to learn about debt at a very early age and have managed to totally avoid it. I was figuring my budget and expenses one day and it dawned on me that if I didn't have work expenses and could concentrate on being frugal.....I could quit work. Eureka!

Since then I have managed to live on less than I had coming in and have let things snowball. I've also received some windfalls that I've been able to well utilize because I have no debt. When I say I have no debt I mean none. My only expenses are utilities, car insurance, and groceries. For me, no debt has been the key. Another key component is that I am no longer married to a man that had every dollar pre-spent.

I travel a lot and often spend winters in Mexico or occasionally a whole year. I enjoy learning Spanish, eating fabulous food and spending time on the beach.

I was really excited to find this forum. It seems like I am the only person I know that retired early and I look forward to seeing what we all have in common. I have the feeling it is attitude as much as anything.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:52 AM   #2
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Welcome to the story. What a fabulous story ! I agree with you about debt. I have had debt in the past (loan on my first car, and mortgage) but both were paid off early.

Congratulations on your successful ER !
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:32 AM   #3
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Nice to hear it can be done and you enjoy it.

What do you about health insurance and lodging?
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:43 AM   #4
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Wow, now that is an early retirement! I am enjoying my 8th year of freedom also...but I am 57. Still felt early tho

I got debt free about 5 years before retiring, w/o those years of socking away serious $ I would have had to continue working. It was the nest "feathering".
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:35 PM   #5
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Congratulations! I agree that it's an attitude: shunning consumerism and the idea of "keeping up with the Joneses" or working for your money vs. understanding that money is a vehicle to freedom. You figured that out earlier than most, including me, but hopefully I can follow suit in 5 years (by 42!). Welcome!
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:24 PM   #6
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Nice to hear it can be done and you enjoy it.

What do you about health insurance and lodging?
I self pay. I use almost all naturopathic treatments and they aren't covered by insurance. If I ever decide to live full time in Mexico I'll pay to join the national health plan down there which is basically hospitalization.

I paid cash for my house.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:30 PM   #7
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I self pay. I use almost all naturopathic treatments and they aren't covered by insurance.
And what happens if you come down with a serious illness or are injured in an accident, how will you afford the medical bills? What if you're in a car accident and need to be hospitalized? What if you get cancer? Serious issues like this can happen to anyone and will ruin you if you don't have insurance.



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Old 08-14-2014, 08:53 PM   #8
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Well considering that modern medicine was the cause of my having a stroke 10 years ago....and considering that when modern medicine couldn't diagnose a nearly fatal ailment and my Naturopath did, I'll take my chances. Since I have gone over to using Naturopathic medicine I have been much much healthier. I recover from the very few health issues much quicker and much more completely. I almost never get colds because I use natural methods to nip it in the bud as soon as I feel it coming on. I have had very bad experiences with modern medical practitioners. Every time I think...well maybe I ought to go see a doctor about this I usually spend a lot of money, end up in worse shape and sometimes like the last time, in an excruciating amount of pain.

As far as a car wreck....I do have personal injury protection on my auto insurance. For anything else I figure that I can pay the bill with the money that I would have spent on insurance premiums.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:18 PM   #9
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When you say you have no debt OP, where do you live rent free or property tax free? Do you need a car or walk everywhere? Do you have any children? Just curious about the cash drains most people experience.


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Old 08-14-2014, 09:40 PM   #10
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Death and taxes as the old saying goes. Nobody gets away from taxes. When I say I have no debt I am referring to things like a mortgage, credit card or a car payment. I do not borrow money. I make interest....not pay it.

I do not pay rent. I look at that as a hole to throw money down. I own my home. Over the years I have gotten quite creative to avoid paying rent or having a mortgage. That enabled me to retire at 35.

I currently have 2 vehicles. Irritates me every time I have to pay my car insurance. Since I have a farm I need a truck. Since I do a lot of traveling I need a fuel efficient car. I also have assorted motorcycles, atv's and other toys. I live out in the country so a vehicle is a must.

No children in the house for several years. Divorced for several years as well. Just a very spoiled little dog.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:53 PM   #11
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Well, txgypsy, good to hear you're making it on your own. I'm about your age, and even though financially stable, I still feel like I want some woman to take care of me.

what do you do most of your day? You say you have a farm, is it much work?

What's your biggest problem / worry?
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:20 PM   #12
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LOL...you and every other man I've always said it must be nice to have a wife!

A farm can be a tremendous amount of work. I lease out most of mine(pays the taxes) and focus on the garden, orchard and bees. I spend a great deal of time mentoring beginning beekeepers. I've got 20 or so students that I'm working with this year. I spend a lot of time going through students hives, giving classes, delivering hives and building bee equipment. I experiment with and study my bees.

I spend more of my day that I should online. I do a lot of research. I also goof off some if truth be told.

I spend an hour at the gym most days. I spend a LOT of time mowing grass in the summer. Just maintaining equipment takes up a good chunk of time.

I sneak off and travel every chance I get.

Greatest fear/worry? Probably the same as everyone else. Too much national debt. What the heck is the stock market going to do? Weakening of the dollar in the global economy. Mostly stuff beyond my control.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:06 PM   #13
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Good to meet you! I'll be retiring in a few months at the age of 40. I agree 110% that's being completely debt free is the key to being and extreme early retiree. Plus, it feels really nice to not have any debt hanging over your head.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:47 AM   #14
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I self pay. I use almost all naturopathic treatments and they aren't covered by insurance. If I ever decide to live full time in Mexico I'll pay to join the national health plan down there which is basically hospitalization.

I paid cash for my house.
Thank you for replying. I like to compare notes of ER's to my situation, as not yet being retired and wondering if we've saved enough.

Not as brave as you to forgo health insurance, but I totally understand your frustration with current healthcare.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:15 AM   #15
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I have truly had a horrid experience with health care in the US. However, my experience with health care in Mexico has been superb. If I were to end up with a condition that required medical care(other than things like stitches or a broken bone, etc.) I'd seriously consider having it treated in Mexico. Also, since I am single, the ability to hire a nurse to stay with me is a large consideration as well. I could do that in Mexico. I'd be bankrupt in a short time paying for it privately in the US.

I was in a hardware store and someone knocked over a very heavy metal farming implement that hit me on the ankle. Fortunately there was a clinic next door that did x-rays. I hobbled over and in less than an hour a doctor had read my x-rays and bound up my ankle. No break fortunately. $14 total.

I saw an internist that was certified as a heart surgeon and a pediatric heart surgeon. One whole wall of his office was filled up with plaques. He normally spent an hour with me. His office visits were $30. He was the premier Doctor in that part of the country.
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Mexico and Other Travels
Old 08-16-2014, 10:39 AM   #16
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Mexico and Other Travels

Welcome and congratulations. I am always impressed by the few folks who are able to ER in their 30's. (This was actually my original plan; but, I am suffering from over 10 years of the dreaded OMY syndrome.)

You have mentioned Mexico a couple of times as well as other travels. I am sure several of us would be interested in any specifics you would care to share regarding those travels, especially as they might related to potential ER destinations (temporary, permanent or just snowbirding).

These details will let us get to know you a bit better (mild climate mountain person vs. hot and humid beach type, big city vs. small village, etc.) and might give us ideas that we have not considered.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
I was in a hardware store and someone knocked over a very heavy metal farming implement that hit me on the ankle. Fortunately there was a clinic next door that did x-rays. I hobbled over and in less than an hour a doctor had read my x-rays and bound up my ankle. No break fortunately. $14 total.

I saw an internist that was certified as a heart surgeon and a pediatric heart surgeon. One whole wall of his office was filled up with plaques. He normally spent an hour with me. His office visits were $30. He was the premier Doctor in that part of the country
Unlike a case in New Jersey recently. This guy went to the hospital for some stitches and the bill was $9000.

I'm happy with my medical care, but if I had to pay for it, I'd take my chances too. I've heard of going to India/Thailand and receiving excellent medical care, first class accomodations at pennies on the dollar.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:10 AM   #18
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Think I'll stick with Mexico as I speak pretty good Spanish now. As long as it took me to learn Spanish I don't think I want to tackle another language.

Medical care tends to be much more personal and user friendly in other countries. It is not unusual for a Doctor to make house calls in Mexico. My ex had a kidney stone. Our neighbor called her Doctor. He came right over and brought a pain shot with him. The Doctor spent at least an hour at my house to make sure that my ex was resting comfortably and didn't need to go to the hospital. That was $20 US.

I'd be happy to share information about Mexico. Is there a better place on the forum to do that so that people that are looking for that sort of information can more easily find it?
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:23 AM   #19
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Welcome and congratulations. I am always impressed by the few folks who are able to ER in their 30's. (This was actually my original plan; but, I am suffering from over 10 years of the dreaded OMY syndrome.)
I actually hadn't really planned to retire at any certain time. I was miles ahead of other folks my age since I didn't have any debt. I was literally doing a budget when it occurred to me. That was in 2008 when the economy went downhill quickly and I wasn't making much at the time. The expense of going to work wasn't really worth it. I was working as a waitress and my tips had dropped off significantly.

That is something that I'd like to point out. I never made a lot of money. I worked average everyday jobs. In a lot of ways I saved my way into retirement rather than earned my way into retirement. Since I retired I have received an inheritance that has really helped, but I had accomplished actual retirement on my own before that.

Something else that was significant was finally calling it quits with my ex-husband. It is hard to make headway when someone is trying to drag you in the other direction. I'd say that your spouse may be the single biggest factor on whether you can succeed and retire early.....or succeed in life period.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:51 PM   #20
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OP, you are my new hero! Still, if I were in your shoes, I'd maybe look into a basic health insurance plan under the ACA. At the low levels of income you are probably generating, you'd qualify for subsidies. At $40k a year of income, I pay about $170 a month for health insurance.
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