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Old 07-02-2010, 12:32 PM   #61
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Some acquaintances.

Husband of coworker was a retired cop who retired in his 40's with full pension. Did some PI, tough guy and service of process stuff a few hrs a week for our office (good guy to have around when you head into a crack house).

Neighbors a few houses down. He describes himself as an architect who works from home. They own six rental houses in our neighborhood and I don't think he works a whole lot (other than tending to the rentals). Very involved with the community and sits on some municipal committees, that sort of thing. He was probably in his late 40's or early 50's when I first met him. Maybe he's cranking out 50 hrs a week in his home office?? But I see him out and about during the day on weekdays doing yard work, recreational walking with his wife, etc.

Brother of a former coworker sold his house in california and pocketed the million(s). Age in the lower 40's. Calls my former coworker occasionally from the golf course to ask how his day at work is going (in a good humored manner!).

Since I'm only 30, most of my friends and acquaintances from high school and college are still in school, or just finished up their PhD's, MBA's, MDs, JDs, etc and are either starting or in the middle of residency or have been working for a few years. Probably focused on spending the money as fast as they can acquire it. Or paying down college loans and trying to buy house, car, etc and have kids.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:32 PM   #62
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If these early retirees exist, where are they? I do not want examples from internet blogs. Do you actually know a real person who has retired in the 40's or early 50's successfully?
I met two people who were biking and sailing around the world.

We know that some civil servants - police, fire, military - can retire earlier than 60. Then there are the people on involuntary ER - disability, long term unemployment, etc.

They are all around us.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:48 PM   #63
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My dad retired at 55. His company moved from MA to chicago or something and he decided to stay up here. Paid off house and low cost of living made it possible. That and my mom is 10 years younger so she worked for the health care.

He passed away at age 69, so I am very glad he had many years of fishing and puttering around before the cancer got him.
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:15 PM   #64
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There's probably a lot more ER's out there than you would think. Most don't run around telling strangers that they are ER'd (based on what I have read here at this forum). Seems like the trend is to be modest about your ER status.
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:20 PM   #65
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Real/actual examples..........

Friend of mine retired at 56......40+ years in a contributary government job with a Defined Benefits Plan.....committing a legislated and compulsory % of his wage from year-dot will do it, it's called compound interest ;-)

Another friend invented an "i-thingy" than netted him a small fortune in the early nineties and had him more-than-comfortably-retired in his early 40's..........luck is a wonderful misstress.

I'm 56, early if you are counting 65 as 'normal' retirement age, and I intend retiring before the end of this year (within 2 months of 'now' if the corporate BS gains the better of me, which is highly likely ;-))

That's through a combination of 20-year mlilitary service pension (more than well-earned), maximising personal superannuation contributions (Australian....look it up but similar to US 401k system), the Aussie equivalent of US Social Security (I earned and paid for that too) and definitely LBYM!

I can do it and I'm goin'a do it! ;-)

Early retirement is definitely an achievable goal, it just has to be aimed for and planned for a lil' bit..............oh, but that might be a problem for some ;-)

Cheers - Mick
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:24 PM   #66
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Reading all the posts, it seems that the majority of people who retired early worked in the public sector which offers very generous pensions. In Canada (I'm suspecting this is the case in the States as well), most private sector companies are moving away from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution pensions which is making it harder for people to retire early.
I think the private sector had its last burst of early retirement glory with all those dotcom stock options millionaires of the late 1990s. Since then working in the private sector has been outright depressing in terms of retirement prospects for the average employee, especially when almost everyone you see retiring early and comfortably had government jobs.
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:33 PM   #67
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I think the private sector had its last burst of early retirement glory with all those dotcom stock options millionaires of the late 1990s. Since then working in the private sector has been outright depressing in terms of retirement prospects for the average employee, especially when almost everyone you see retiring early and comfortably had government jobs.
One is reminded of the hare & tortoise parable ;-) "Guvmint' employment, at least in my country, is certainly seen as 'safe', but the offset is one of lesser income. 'Risk and reward' being the arbitor ;-}
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:43 PM   #68
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I think the private sector had its last burst of early retirement glory with all those dotcom stock options millionaires of the late 1990s. Since then working in the private sector has been outright depressing in terms of retirement prospects for the average employee, especially when almost everyone you see retiring early and comfortably had government jobs.
Perhaps, that's why I don't know any early retirees in real life (defined by the OP as people who retired in their early 50's and earlier). I know very few people who work for the government. My uncle worked for the post office and retired at 55 or 56 with a government pension. BIL is in the Air Force and will probably retire in his 40's with a government pension. That's it. Every one else in my family/friends/acquaintances work/worked in the private sector. The older private sector employees still managed to retire fairly early with a private pension (my parents, aunts and uncles all retired in their late 50's, early 60's). The younger private sector employees will have to rely exclusively on their own savings to retire and, except for one like-minded friend of ours, I know of very few people my age who will be able to pull it off.
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:56 PM   #69
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i agree with fuego - you may know some ERs who just keep that information to themselves.

i retired in my early 40s - no pension, no gov't job. owned my own business, lived below my means, saved and invested.

the only other person i know who has retired early is my husband, who was also in his 40s.

i wonder why you announce to other people that you want to retire early. we play our cards close to the vest. only the people closest to us know that we are retired; everyone else assumes we are still self-employed. what they don't know doesn't make them jealous.
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:44 PM   #70
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I personally know 7 ERs, not counting myself and DW. Of course, since you don't know me I may not have any credibility. Sarah in SC is a moderator, and thus above reproach. She'll be meeting us in a couple of weeks (yay Floydfest!) and will be able to vouch for us then.
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:45 PM   #71
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Friend of mine retired at 56......40+ years in a contributary government job with a Defined Benefits Plan.....
He started working at a full time government job before the age of 16 ?

I don't understand...
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:25 PM   #72
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I know quite a few nurses who ER'ed in their 50s. My father ER'ed @62. All of these people had defined benefit pensions.

I also have several girlfriends who are or were high earners, whose DHs "retired" to become "househusbands". Some of them were in their 30s. I have one ER'ed girlfriend whose DH is also ER'ed. They married late and had no kids, and they are very frugal.
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:21 PM   #73
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I also have several girlfriends who are or were high earners, whose DHs "retired" to become "househusbands". Some of them were in their 30s. I have one ER'ed girlfriend whose DH is also ER'ed. They married late and had no kids, and they are very frugal.
From your '" " I see that you also feel that this is not retirement. It is trading a job with cash benefits, prestige and perhaps power, with some limits on the bosses behavior for one with little or none of the above.

Ha
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:44 PM   #74
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my FIL hung it up at 56. two pensions, one from the military (reserves) and the other a civil service thing. 4 years into retirement he had a wheel failure while mt biking in southern utah. he's now a quad. it's a shame...you just never know.

my FIL is the only one i personally know to ER...

i also keep my mouth shut about my plans. i shared with a co-worker one time and all i got was a bunch of nay saying. besides, i don't want word to get around at my mega-corp that i'm planning to cut it short, i fear the ramifications (not getting the jobs/promotions i want).
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:45 PM   #75
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Limiting myself to purely private sector folks who fully retired before age 58 and not due to illness...

Two cousins, one neighbor, one classmate. Big severance, inheritance, empty nesting and investment success all were involved
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:10 PM   #76
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Oh yeah, I forgot another case. Single guy, making probably 100K/year, got to 50, said "hey, everyone talks about retiring early, that's all BS, but I'm going to do it", and he walked.

With our DB system and the penalty for early withdrawal (it was 49% less if you went at 50 then, since reduced to 40%), he can't have had much more than 20K as a pension, but I guess he had a bunch of cash socked away.

The other story I remember about this guy was the "printer story". Before I ever met him, I was in charge on locating all our office printers, and I'd determined that his office was the best place for one on his floor. He said fine, as long as the printer is either on the floor, or 7 feet up in the air. WTF? I talked to the building services manager who, knowing the guy in question, winked, then dug a 7 foot high shelving unit out of stock and put the printer on top with a little 2-step platform in front. Turned out that the guy had a lot of cute interns occupying the offices either side, and he wanted them to come into his office in their cute little skirts and either bend over, or climb up the steps, to collect their printouts.
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:19 PM   #77
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I know several ER people, two who achieved ER status due to inheritances; as well as my brother-in law and 2 good friends.

I fully intend join them in ER in 3 years when I turn 55. I decided I was going to ER in my thirties. I earn $45,000 a year in salary and have been a saver since I was 10 (no inheritance for me). I even managed to save while I attended college -- by living with my parents until I was 27 and riding the bus to school and w*rk. Since then I've purchased 3 new cars and paid cash for every one of them. I have always been single and have no children. I'm on my second home having purchased the first one for $21,000 at age 27 (paid cash for it.) Sold it for $57,000 at age 43 then had a new home built in 2002 which I paid off in 3 years.

I also wear the same pair of earrings every day and own 1 gold necklace; no other jewelry. I do not have a closet full of expensive clothes and I basically own 3 pairs of shoes. My annual new clothing budget is $250.

Less you think I have no life as I save towards ER -- I spend money on my yard and gardens (a hobby I enjoy); I downhill ski (which isn't cheap); belong to bowling and golf leagues; go to sporting events; take at least 2 out-of-town vacations every year from hiking in Switzerland and rafing through the Grand Canyon to storm chasing in Tornado Alley and horseback riding in the Rockies; I also enjoy eating at Subway or Wendys every night of the year. No cooking for me!

When I do ER in 3 years, I will have 40% more money to live off of than I do now. That means more travel opportunities and more hobbies and more fun -- and the best part -- no W*rk! Unless I want to, of course -- not!
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:34 PM   #78
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Our close friend and his wife retired when he was 46. He was a big executive with megacorp and a very astute investor. When he was offered a package to leave, he jumped on it. I believe that in addition to living off of their investments, he will also be receiving some type of deferred compensation for several years.

They are livin' the life and are an inspiration to DH and I to keep saving!
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:08 PM   #79
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Off the top of my head:

1) An uncle called it quits at 97.
2) I left mega-corp at 58.
3) DS[ister] left the (Canadian) civil service at 54. Managed to eliminate here own job in a budget cutting exercise, love that severance.
4) A friend retired from teaching after 30 years, age 52.
5) A friend acquaintance left the workforce at 18 (when grandpa died). Never worked.
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:29 PM   #80
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I retired at 54. Some coworkers retired at about same age.
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