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How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 12:34 PM   #1
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How Early is "Early?"

I'm just curious what the consensus is for the meaning of "early" in terms of early retirement.

Conventional thinking would suggest that retiring at any age beore 65 is "early."

For me, age 55 is the outer limits of how long I plan on working, and sometimes I have trouble thinking I'll last that long. *If I didn't have any dependent's I'd be down the road by now. *I have the attitude that I'd rather live in a trailer and be FI, than be a slave to a job. I would choose "life" (freedom) over money.

Opinsions?
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 12:48 PM   #2
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

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I'm just curious what the consensus is for the meaning of "early" in terms of early retirement.

Conventional thinking would suggest that retiring at any age beore 65 is "early."

For me, age 55 is the outer limits of how long I plan on working, and sometimes I have trouble thinking I'll last that long. *If I didn't have any dependent's I'd be down the road by now. *I have the attitude that I'd rather live in a trailer and be FI, than be a slave to a job. *I would choose "life" (freedom) over money.

Opinsions?
I am sure there is no consensus...just like defining what "rich" is would yield no agreement...55 would have been late for me, but could be plenty of people that being able to retire at 55 is a dream come true. To each is own.
I guess by some standards anything before you can collect full SS is early.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 12:58 PM   #3
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

If everything falls apart, all my plans go awry, nothing pans out etc. etc. 55 is the oldest I'll retire. My house will be paid off at 50 and my company let's you collect your pension at 55. Even if what I'm saving sees zero gains (like stuffing a mattress) I'll have enough then. Now if I get a reasonable rate of return, 45 is the goal.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 01:10 PM   #4
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

Yup, no consensus there. Before 67, before 65, before 62, before 55.... Before I stumbled across the ER concept I had kinda figured 60 was retirement age for me...not that I thought about it beyond "gee, I gotta work 30 more years?"

Now I'd love to go at 40 or 45, but unless something lucky happens I may have to be happy with retiring at 55.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 01:19 PM   #5
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

For me 40. Cheers!
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 01:55 PM   #6
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

My most optimistic estimate is 36. What I think is a fairly realistic goal for myself is 41. My more pessimistic models have me working til 46. I haven't run any *really* pessimistic scenarios, which could have me working til who knows when.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 02:21 PM   #7
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

I've always thought that before 55 is early. But for me it was really early (39) and for hubby it will be a little early (53).
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 02:30 PM   #8
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

Oops, we skipped the meaning of retirement. Some people call it retired if they go on long term disability, shift to working part time, start their own business or take a pension from one job while starting another.

Grayer areas yet include managing rental properties.

Not that I mind what others' definitions are, but it may affect the age answer some.

My vision of retirement is no work or asset-related time demands; just waking up each day whever I am and deciding what to do.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 03:16 PM   #9
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

Thank you for the replies so far. *In the meatworld, it is almost unheard of (in these parts, at least) to be FI or retired before 55. You guys are changing my mindset and inspiring me.

To clarify my meaning for the word "retirement" as used in this thread, I suppose I meant something closer to financailly independent--freedom from being chained to an 8 to 5 (or longer) job. *

Working on my house and yard (to me) is not "work" in the sense that I meant it, and I would continue to do things like that in retirement.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 03:24 PM   #10
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

Man. I wish I enjoyed working on the house, lawn, and
other stuff.
Every day I have a big list and I
absolutely hate it. If the weather is nice, I go fishing
and ignore the projects. But, if I enjoyed that stuff,
oh the wonders I could bring forth

JG
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 03:54 PM   #11
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

GD-ER

Congrats on your induction into the 5 star club. Not even a general get 5 stars. Is there a secret handshake or a coon skin cap that comes with that? Probably cant tell me anyway.

Regarding how early is early...something happens to a man at 50. Work/stress becomes toxic. There is a deep physical and attitudinal change. Women, I think just go nuts.


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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 03:56 PM   #12
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

JG,

Call me weird....but I like getting my hands dirty on projects. For example, this weekend I plan to build a 24' section of fence in the front yard--I'm actually looking forward to it!

What I like about my projects is the that the only hassles are physical challenges. Besides, I can go at my own pace, and I have something tangible as a result; something "real." This is in stark contrast to some of the bureaucratic nonsense I spend my workdays doing.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 03:58 PM   #13
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

For me retiring at any age between 30 to 50 is early.

When I hear people say they are retiring early at 62 or 60, it almost has no meaning to me. Of course, somebody could get a big inheritance or win the lottery at age 18 and retire early, but that almost has no meaning to me either.

I define retiring early as a self-made achievement. For most people it will take at least 10 to 30 years of work to get there. Without the feeling that you've created your own retirement, I just can't see how one could define it as retirement. It's almost like you can't appreciate how good it feels to stop hitting yourself on the head with a hammer unless you've been hitting yourself on the head with a hammer.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 04:09 PM   #14
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

Quote:
Is there a secret handshake or a coon skin cap that comes with that? Probably cant tell me anyway.
Well, we'd have to shoot you then. We can tell you about the dryer sheet flag, though.

Which reminds me......

John Galt, the flags linked here were inspired by you, and the avatar was originally meant for you, but at the time you had switched to posting as a guest. Now that you have an account again you are free to use these for your avatar if you wish.

EDIT Sept 30 2005: Updated images link for new server
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 04:41 PM   #15
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

I can retire today but am concerned about future costs. How do you deal with that? Since I am still employed with an exceptional salary, how can I justify leaving it now.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 05:55 PM   #16
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

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*For example, this weekend I plan to build a 24' section of fence in the front yard--I'm actually looking forward to it!
I'd be excited about that too...just 24 feet, yipee! Soon as the ground unfreezes I have to build about 8000 feet of fence! Of course, I am sure we are not talking about the same kind of fence


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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 06:46 PM   #17
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

I had planned for age 44, but decided to stay around for my last bonus (they've cut them out for employees at my level) that will come in Nov 05. So will be 45. I think that is still kind of early.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 06:46 PM   #18
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

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I can retire today but am concerned about future costs. How do you deal with that? Since I am still employed with an exceptional salary, how can I justify leaving it now.
Money can't buy your time. *You only have a limited number of birthdays remaining.
Once your investable net worth is at least 25 times your average annual expenses less any pension, you should be able to retire. *Run FIRECALC to help give you a guideline.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-24-2005, 08:03 PM   #19
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

I think I saw somewhere that two thirds of the heads-of- households between 55 and 65 are still working. I guess if you beat similar odds you are statistically retired early. Most of my peers in thier late 40's or early 50's who have average sized families, two incomes, a good job, and live a typical lifestyle are probably planning retirement in their late 50's. I'd bet that many single mother's are looking at 60+ for average retirement.

I can't think of any of my older generation of relatives that retired before 60 and most worked until they were 65 or older.

So I guess it's all relative.
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Re: How Early is "Early?"
Old 03-25-2005, 05:59 AM   #20
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Re: How Early is "Early?"

I'm shooting for 50...the main issue now is achieving a margin of safety. It's tough to stay objective, but each additional year of savings helps peace of mind and may insure that I won't have to scramble for a low wage job some day. That would take the fun out of RE pretty fast. :-/
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