Greetings, Howdy etc. ya'all
I found this forum through Google searches and registered promptly.
This is my first post.
Seems to be a very active forum with lots of members. I will try and catch up over the course of next few weeks, but following is my introduction, and questions.
I am 37 year old, married with 2 kids, both under 10.
Have been working a corporate job for nearly 15 years now full time.
I wouldn't say I am sick of my job, but I aint thrilled either.
I have worked very hard for the last 15 years, travelled a lot (domestically and internationally) in the first 5 years or so.
I poured my heart and soul into it particularly between 2004 and 2007 and as a result achieved 3 promotions back-to-back.
You could say I am feeling a bit weary now and want to step off the treadmill.
In fact, for the last 3 years or so I have been trying to achieve a better work-life-balance.
That is also the real reason I want to early retire - I want to spend more time with my family (young kids and aging parents), take better care of my health, and get off the high stress treadmill of a full time corporate job.
As for my finances, not including any home equity I am close to $500K in cash and investments (hope to hit $500K by the end of this year).
Home equity is approx. $300K, although I haven't leveraged it in any way (yet).
For the last 6 years or so, I have been investing entirely on my own, after wasting a few years on high fee, underperforming mutual funds.
I am a fundamental investor, analyzing individual stocks and bonds.
Right now I am about 50% equities, 40% REITs and high yield stocks, and about 3% bonds, and 5% or so misc. investments such as pref. shares, convertibles, gold bullion trust, etc.
My plan has been to build up an alternative income stream using investments, both passive dividends as well as actively trading stocks and options.
By active trading, I don't mean I am a day trader.
I have also estimated that as a family we need $4,000 a month of replacement income to maintain same quality of life.
We don't live extravagantly at all - in fact, we have a very modest lifestyle.
A relatively mid sized home, kids in public school, no fancy cars, exotic vacations, or fancy electronic gadgets, etc.
Monthly expenses on average are between $3,500 to $4,000 a month.
Therefore, that is the target replacement income.
So far, the $350K or so that is invested is generating $1,200 a month of passive income.
By the end of this year, I hope to be at $1,500 a month.
By dream goal is to be financially independent by the time I turn 40 (in 2015).
I know, realistically, I won't have enough to "retire", but I hope to have enough passive income to switch to lower demand, part-time work, and devote more time to active investing and other pursuits.
I apologize...this is turning out to be a long post.
Now I'd like to hear from other what they think of my situation.
Is this a pipe dream?
Am I crazy?
Is this a worthy goal?
What else should I be doing?
Above all, I am most keenly interested in hearing about everyone else's early retirement stories, and how others have achieved it, and learn from it.
So if anyone can point me to the relevant threads or blogs, etc. that'll be great too.
Oh and I almost forgot : I am a Canadian living in Canada, although I have worked both sides of the border and routinely travel back and forth for work.
But my finances are all Canada based, and many of my investments are Canadian stock and bonds.
Therefore, not included in my financial numbers above but relevant nevertheless is a small CPP pension, which I can start receiving after 65.
And therein lies some of my challenges, which is why I sought out this forum.
that I read (books, blogs, etc.) seem to be focused on regular retirement age of 65. These books define "early" retirement as 62
All the calculations and projections are based on that.
I am looking for truly early retirement insight and hope I have found the right forum.
Thanks all for read thus far, and looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts.
If anyone wants to know more before answering, please feel free to ask.