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Old 01-01-2012, 09:08 PM   #41
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Am I too late at (almost) 30 to seriously consider retirement in my 40's? When did you start?
I didn't really think about retirement until my mid-30's, and managed to retire two years ago at 41. But I put everything into a high risk/return venture -- my own business -- and was fortunate enough to sell it to a large company for enough to retire on.

That's one possible path. My younger brother also retired at 39 last year through something similar: he worked long hours for startups his whole career until one finally succeeded. Neither of us saved in 401K plans or had other investments. But like other people here, we always lived cheaply to get positive cash flow. Me because I needed it to launch and then keep growing the business, and him because he needed savings in case his latest startup failed and he was out of work again.

I'd think if you want to retire in 10 years starting from nothing, you'd need some similar high risk/reward scheme. The traditional 401K and stock/bond investing just wouldn't get you the yields you'd need, even if you had a super high-paying job and could put away $100K a year. If you really want to go for it, you'll need to invest in something riskier. A business, gold mine, real estate development, write a bestselling book, something other than just buying stocks and bonds I'd think!
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:44 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Kabekew View Post
I'd think if you want to retire in 10 years starting from nothing, you'd need some similar high risk/reward scheme. The traditional 401K and stock/bond investing just wouldn't get you the yields you'd need, even if you had a super high-paying job and could put away $100K a year.
You're skipping over a couple aspects of the EarlyRetirementExtreme plan-- very high savings rates and very low expenses.

At $100K/year Jacob was probably able to do it in under five years. 10 years? No problem.

» Frequently Asked Questions Early Retirement Extreme: Becoming debt-free is the first step to building a better world. Financial independence is the second. Doing what YOU want is the third. , and the "21-day makeover" on the left-hand column.

Or try this link:
How many years does it take to become financially independent? | Military Retirement & Financial Independence

... and plug your own numbers into Arebelspy's spreadsheet in the July update.
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:48 PM   #43
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Started the day I graduated with a BBA in 1964. We pretty much saved about 1/2 of our combined PRETAX income for about 30 years. Now we're concerned that we will be punished for being 'hoarders' who should pay-up to help spread the 'wealth'.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:08 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Nords
You're skipping over a couple aspects of the EarlyRetirementExtreme plan-- very high savings rates and very low expenses.

At $100K/year Jacob was probably able to do it in under five years. 10 years? No problem.

» Frequently Asked Questions Early Retirement Extreme: Becoming debt-free is the first step to building a better world. Financial independence is the second. Doing what YOU want is the third. , and the "21-day makeover" on the left-hand column.

Or try this link:
How many years does it take to become financially independent? | Military Retirement & Financial Independence

... and plug your own numbers into Arebelspy's spreadsheet in the July update.
One thing to note is that it's not entirely apparent at the moment whether Jacob actually "did it" (to my mind anyways) . He lived within the numbers for a few years but then did a "never mind" and went back to working. One could argue he is a example of how someone failed at accelerated early retirement.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:13 PM   #45
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Is the Jacob experience a "sustainable" one? He discontinued the experiment, but I suppose someone else without an ability to do a "never mind" could keep on living in such austerity.

Yes, one can, but does one want to?
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:16 PM   #46
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I was blessed in a variety of ways. I had a little common sense to learn from my mistakes, a single-mindedness to save, save, save...no matter how painful...and some terrific employment opportunities.

I was 27-years-old and had to borrow $200 from my parents to buy tires...because I had nothing (no money.) It was then, that I decided that change was in order. I took my prized possessions (a Les Paul Custom electric guitar and Martin D-35 accoustic guitar) down to the local music store and sold them. At that point I said, "never again." Having no money was something that I wouldn't tolerate, if it was within my control.

Even when I earned little money...I saved every penny that I could. I was blessed with some great job opportunities beginning in the early '90's and the savings began to mount. I can't say that I've been much of an investor over the years (I'm trying to do a better job of that now,) but I've been a saver. I've learned a lot from folks on this board, and others, and have put a plan in place that will allow my money to work for me. Until now though, it's been about saving and preserving capital.

I retired at 55. Everybody has a different story and I'm enjoying reading and learning, from all of them.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:39 PM   #47
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While I'm sure most stories have similarities such as pay off bad debt, LBYM, budget, max out 401k contributions, I want to know what else you all did to get to your FIRE goal. I'm still forming my plan and want to see what others have done.

Am I too late at (almost) 30 to seriously consider retirement in my 40's? When did you start?
I guess I'm not the person to ask as I retired at 58. Full disclosure, I was financially independent long before that and could have retired comfortably (with reduced-already-modest pension) at 51.

My retirement ideal was to live "better" (as in spending MORE) in retirement than before. I was willing to do what it took to live where I wanted and to do the things I wanted in retirement. At least, after 6 years, it's all working to plan (and then some).

You've received tons of good advice so far. I don't know that I have much to add to that.

But to your particular question. I think Nords put you onto some possible scenarios to be able to retire early (like early to mid 40s in your case). I could never accept that lifestyle myself, so I guess the real question is "how badly do you want to retire in your 40s?" If you are willing to live a reduced lifestyle now and in the future, there ARE ways to do it. But, be advised, unless you are rather lucky (very high salary now, successful startup, inheritance, lottery, etc. etc.) retiring in your 40s will be bare bones. Some think it well worth doing that. We have "heros" often cited in this forum who did that (and then wrote blogs and/or books about it). Personally, that was not for me. I never hated my j*b that much nor required the freedom that retirement brings in my 40s. Still, I could have done it - had I been willing to accept the consequences. As I often say, YMMV. Good luck. Check back often and let us know how you are progressing.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:54 PM   #48
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I knew I wanted to retire early as a child, and had a very linear progression towards retiring at 48. My salary (as a programmer) rose at a moderate, steady pace for 27 years. I LBYMed, maxed out 401k contributions from the early 80s, saved some on the side, bought and paid off a house, kept almost everything in stocks, and by 46 I had enough (I did extra padding for 2 years).

Progress seemed slow at first, but really accelerated at the end.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #49
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I did not remember exactly Jacob's expenses, so read through the link that Nord provided above. Jacob spent something like $5K to $7K, but his wife paid the other 1/2 of the common living cost. By himself, it would have cost Jacob more, but of course it would not have doubled.

I just recalled this RV'er whose blog I followed for a while, before this article mentioned his lifestyle and launched him to a readership of 1M+ on the blogosphere.

He's a musician in his early 40s who is spending $11K/year living full-time in a small 21' motorhome. His relatively small MH has a stealth factor that allows him to blend in and park in places that larger MHs would stand out and get chased away. He gave up performing, but still does musical arrangement for the TV industry. This independent and remotely-performed work allows him to roam the country, and in comfort of the little MH. Said he made more than $11K/year, but he did not need to spend more.

The $11K budget even includes the premium for a high-deductible health insurance. In case any wants to duplicate this lifestyle, I would like to mention that Chinook, the maker of his small but high-end MH, has ceased operation, but a maker of equivalent small MHs called Roadtrek is still in business. Costs of a new small MH like this can run around $100K, and I guess good used ones may be around $30-40K.

PS. The picture in the article was of his first and older RV. He has since upgraded to a newer Chinook as I described above.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:16 PM   #50
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I started seriously saving at 33 when I became a single Mom after a divorce . It was a wake up call . I did save enough to put both through private colleges and fund my retirement . Of course remarrying a saver after six years alone really helped .
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:52 PM   #51
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Yes, it's possible.

Yes, it's possible cscott711. I was 40 with a net worth of close to zero. A good job (engineer at a Megacorp) and determination were the keys. Paid off the house at 43 and started serious saving and maxed out the 401K. By the time I was 55 I could have retired but I worked part time (27 hrs/wk) for two more years, just to get the feel of retired life ! Pulled the plug in Aug of 2007 and have not looked back. So I can speak to one case of going from essentially zero to retirement in 15 years. In your case, that would put you in your mid-forties.

Good luck !
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:53 AM   #52
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Thanks everyone! I didn't expect that many responses, but it has provided some great insight and helped to clearly portray the level of commitment it will take. I love a good challenge and I'll get to tackle this one for years to come.
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