My name is Steve, and I just retired at the age of 35

181 thoughts on “My name is Steve, and I just retired at the age of 35”

    1. Ha! We’ll be out there one of these days, you can count on it. The moment when you think the sun is blinding you? Nah, that’ll be our house pulling into your driveway! 😉

  1. So so happy for you both!! I know great things are coming for the future…especially since you’re teaming up with J$! Not sure what your plans for videography are but I enjoyed watching you put your composting toilet on the RV…and I don’t even have an RV (or composting toilet for that matter) so I’m sure whatever you do will be just as captivating if not more. 😉

    Watching the countdown has been fun, but watching what you do now will be even better! Congrats again!!! 🎈🎉🍾🎊 Have an amazing holiday and enjoy your REAL time off!!

    1. Thanks Miss Mazuma! Very much appreciate your kind words! We’ll see where this whole new venture takes me. Whatever happens, I believe it’ll be for the best. 🙂

  2. Love it! Man, I envy you. I am with you… The “performance review” is the absolute worst waste of paper and time on the face of the planet. Not a fan. I dred it every year. Performance reviews should be replaced by naps. A way better use of time.

    Great stuff! And you get to work with J money?! Cool! Have a great time!

    1. Hah! Love it…replace them with naps. Even when I was the Director of an IT department, I hated conducting performance reviews. Whether I’m *being* reviewed or actually *doing the reviewing*, it’s just not a fun process. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Congrats on transitioning to a new phase in life. It sounds like you’ll have to be careful or your calendar will be so full there will be no time for those naps. But in all seriousness, great post and it must feel fantastic to be free of those reviews.

  4. Congratulations, I have been waiting for this post with eager anticipation and now looking forward to what comes next… Can’t wait to read more of your adventures.

    All the hard work is now paying off… I can’t even imagine how good it must feel, but I can’t wait to find out for myself in a few years.

    Merry Christmas. 🍻

    1. Thanks Adam! It really is tough to describe, and I’m not sure it’s all truly set in, yet. All I know is I get to enjoy the holiday season this year without having to worry about the next year’s worth of mandatory full-time work. Great feeling!

  5. Congratulations Steve! You’re so right about the total price of full-time work. That becomes ever more apparent to me as time goes by. Have a fabulous Christmas & New Year’s. I look forward to your continued posts/videos as you document what life is like on the other side!

  6. Congratulations, Steve! I just passed my 6 month mark and am amazed how busy I’ve been just living. With all those projects lined up, you’re gonna be busier than ever having fun full time 🙂

    Enjoy your big day!

    1. It’s amazing how that works, isn’t it? You retire from full-time work, but you aren’t exactly bored. That’s what happens when you retire TO something rather than FROM something. Thanks for the comment!

  7. Deep bow, hat tip and slow clap! Awesome, well done!
    Have great fun with all the newly found time to explore your new projects and challenges.
    In the mean time, we will just keep going, 42.5% still to do……

    1. Ha! A lot about full time work reminds me of Office Space. Amazing movie and captures so much of corporate America. Ugh! I should probably watch that movie again some time soon. 🙂

  8. I would like to review your performance here if you have a minute.

    Team player. Works well with others. Writes well, and seems to have a great time doing it. Knows what he wants and he knows how to get it.

    Have a Merry Christmas and Enjoy Life!

    1. Thanks Mrs. Picky Pincher! It did, but as we suspect, it’s worth it. And even better…no lifestyle change because of my retirement! We’ve been living the retirement budget (as close as we can, anyway) for several months now. 🙂

  9. Welcome to the Club!! You are making me feel old. The thing I hated the most was the weekly expense reports: taping each receipt to a piece of paper to hold in perpetuity in case the IRS audited my boss. Enjoy the Holidays, these will be the ones you remember the rest of your life (remember that year we…).

    Good luck on all the Blogging/Video projects. I look forward to seeing great things come from you.

    Merry Christmas and a very happy (and FREE) 2017

    1. Ah yes, expense reports. Yup, I’m right there with ya. Luckily I didn’t travel enough for them to be a huge burden, but I certainly did have to meticulously keep all receipts as if they were pure gold. Ugh!

  10. Wow! I can’t believe that you retired a couple of years after you decided FI was the way forward fro you. Congratulations. This is the most inspiring thing I’ve read all day :p Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

  11. Congratulations Steve! It’s great to see the culmination of all your hard work building to this moment. I can’t wait until we can say the same thing. Good luck with the transition. I love the idea of living off-peak!

    I’m sure after a bit of relaxation and the traveling you guys are doing, you’ll be telling us how great it is to have arrived. We’re jealous!

  12. Congrats! You are in a perfect situation. I always suggest to people that they work on projects and side businesses that they are so excited about, that they would do for free, and then let the money come later. But I always get a glazed look from them, or some excuse, because they are not in a good financial position to do that. It is sad.

    I actually enjoy my chosen career and I went back to work part time, and let me tell you, if you ever decide to do it, it is sooooo much different than full time work. I don’t ask for time off… I notify. I don’t have performance reviews. I take extended time off between projects. I only go in the office 2-3 days a week. Like you said, I LOVE having free days during the week. I’m 43 and I will never go back to a full time, salaried job with ‘benefits’, which I actually call the ‘golden handcuffs’. Never, ever. I have zero work stress.

    1. That sounds like a truly awesome place to be! And you’re right, if I ever do go back for something, it’ll be something like that. Part-time work on MY terms, not theirs. I’ve been imprisoned by those golden handcuffs for so many years, and now I’m finally escaped.

    1. Thanks for the comment! You’re right, having no debt makes a huge difference in your ability to save and control your own destiny. It’s a wonderful position to be in.

  13. Congrats Steve with this amazing achievement. Long time lurker and you guys are a true inspiration, even though I am across the world. Let your dreams come true!

    1. Thanks Patty! I appreciate your comment, and I’m glad to have readers from around the world. Some of my favorite blogs are written by those overseas. It’s a wonderful and diverse community, no doubt.

  14. Just wanted to pile on and say: congrats! It’s great to see people follow through with their ER plans instead of backing off and convincing themselves that they maybe actually “love” their job 🙂

    1. Ha! Thanks Eric. I tried to convince myself of that…maybe not that I “love” my job, but that it was *good enough*. Finally, I realized that it wasn’t even that..and I’m glad I let myself acknowledge what I knew to be true. Thanks for your comment!

  15. Congrats Steve! This is an inspiration and I hope it gives motivation to those on the path to FIRE. Look forward to reading about the transition. Let me know if you need east coast brewery recommendations

    1. Thanks GuyOnFire. If anyone becomes inspired by my words, then I’m truly humbled. It’s wonderful to know! Thanks, as always, for your comment my friend.

  16. Hey STEVE!!!

    CONGRATS!! My wife was recently laid off after 30 years of service and she laughed out loud when I mentioned your “No more performance reviews” comment!!

    She definitely will not miss giving reviews and receiving her own review.

    Enjoy your retirement! I got 2 years and 9 months to go until 55 so that I can I get my pension and some money for medical healthcare insurance.


    P.S. Keep those beautiful scenic pictures coming.

    1. Thanks Adam and Jane! I definitely plan to keep those pictures coming! Oh, and that pension will be an awesome benefit in the future. You’ll be glad that you waited even though you probably want it *NOW*. 🙂

  17. Huh, this ER thing might just catch on, you know…

    It really happened for you. It really bloody happened!!

    Awesome stuff. Happy holidays to you and Courtney. It will be a special one, no,doubt!!

    1. Three hour commute? Wow! Yeah, I can imagine that you’d want to get rid of that. I can’t imagine it taking that much time to get to and from work. More power to you for making that work!

  18. Well, that’s a surprise! I thought you might have waited until *next* Friday. The week between the holidays is usually my favorite because it’s soooo slow. The best time to clean up the desk, catch up on emails, etc. Get paid full-time for half the work, hehe!
    Anyway: Congrats on this great achievement and best of luck in your well-deserved retirement!!!

    1. Thanks ERN – actually, they are keeping me on the books until next week even though I’m done working now. So, I get paid for an additional week, not to mention healthcare coverage. What a deal! 🙂

  19. Congratulations Steve, and Merry Christmas!

    My name is Jason and my wife and I retired age 43, just over a year ago. We’ve spent that year travelling Europe in an RV, and are currently in Portugal, in sunshine against the Atlantic.

    The past couple of weeks have been something of a challenge, a hitting of walls if you like. Apart from maintaining a travel blog ( and a couple of weeks a year doing website management and video production, we don’t work. That’s causing me some challenges, since I quite like work, with all the caveats you mention above taken into account. We quit work more to STOP doing things we didn’t enjoy than to START doing things we enjoy. Maybe because we just no longer knew what we enjoyed.

    The solution seems simple: to create more work for myself, which is something I’m currently working through, and I’m excited about the idea of kicking off a new project.

    There is definitely a challenge in quiting work so early, one I’m sure you’re up for, but keep an eye on each other’s wellbeing these coming months.

    Cheers, congratulations again, Jay

    1. Thanks Jason, and Merry Christmas to you as well. I love your traveling adventures; we’ll hit Europe one of these years. And yup, I completely understand your need to create some work for yourself. Having something to focus on is incredible. I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge of balancing free time with staying focused. 🙂

  20. What an incredible feeling. I can’t even imagine how you must be feeling to hang it up and start pursuing your passions full time. That is so awesome!!! I look forward to reading your journey as I know it’s going to be a blast to read about.

    Thanks for sharing and hope you have a Merry Christmas!!!

  21. Welcome to the club, my man! I know exactly how you feel and it sounds like you’re jumping into many exciting projects right now! Have fun but don’t “work” too hard. 🙂

  22. Congrats Steve! I don’t think you’ll regret your choice one bit. You’re about the age when I pulled the ripchord (34), and it’s been a magical time since.

    The fear of running out of money in retirement is totally overblown for folks who retired early, b/c we know how to hustle if necessary!

    Merry Christmas!


    1. Thanks FS! Yup, our ability to hustle and adjust our spending will definitely make our stash of cash last. Like you, I’m not worried about it either. It’s fun! 🙂

  23. Congratulations Steve! So happy for you yet I’m jealous that I won’t be done until 3/31/17 when my IT job is outsourced to India. Hit the links in your article and ended up reading about hiking the entire AT which I intend to do next April. I’m hoping the trip will be a brain reset after spending 34 years in this field. I really enjoy your writings and videos, keep ’em coming.

    1. Thanks Mariana! Yup, 47 is still super early these days when the retirement age keeps getting further and further away. It’s sad…and completely preventable, too. 🙂

    1. Thanks Green Swan! I’m looking forward to getting more and more involved into the “retirement lifestyle”, which is looking to be AT LEAST as eventful as full-time work, but so much more enjoyable. Appreciate the comment, my friend!

  24. Congrats Steve! Even better it looks like you retired to something as you hit up the RV, side projects, and hopefully breweries;) Wish you all the best sir and congrats again!!

  25. Steve,
    Congratulations!!!! I can’t wait to read more about your next life as I plan mine! I admire you for pulling the plug.

    You are an inspiration!!! After having a week off…and another to go…I’m wondering if I, too, can figure out how to make it happen at 35 vs. 37!

    Mrs. Free

    1. Thanks Mrs. Free! You might be surprised at how early you can retire if you’re flexible enough. Your spending post-retirement and side hustles will make the difference between those two years. If you want it bad enough, it probably can happen. The fun part is discovering the path towards that finish line!

  26. Job Well Done Steve! If you’re wired like me, you’re going to absolutely love being independent. I love to work, so I’m not retired in the traditional sense. I just love being able to work on my own terms. I went independent as a sales person three years ago and it would be incredibly difficult for me to give this life up. You summed this lifestyle up perfectly in your post: You work on your terms. You work when you want to work. You work how you want to work. Performance reviews are simply taking a long walk during work hours and just talking to myself and God about my life. Those are the only opinions I have to listen to now which I love. I’m still dependent on the income of my sales business. (I’m a promotional rep, so 75% of my sales are branded clothing reorders to corporate accounts that I’ve built up over the years), but now with the savings I have accumulated, I’m trying to build my bridge to work on my passion projects full time. My dream is to turn Wealth Well Done into it’s own full-time ministry I can devote my life to. I’m a great sales person because I simply love to help make people’s lives easier. That’s what I want to do at Wealth Well Done. Simply help people attain the right mindset to achieve their dreams, and then help them along the journey. One step at a time and I hope to one day get there. Good luck, Steve, and I look forward to working with you as our passion projects intersect at different times. Thanks for the support, and reach out any time.

    1. Thanks Bill! I love what you’re doing with Wealth Well Done and your mission of achieving dreams. That’s something that many of us talk about, but too few of us actually do. Very much appreciate your comment, and best of luck in your drive towards financial independence. It definitely sounds like you aren’t far from reaching that goal. It’s a great feeling!

  27. Hi Steve

    congratulations, you give the rest of us motivation and optimism that aiming for early retirement is achievable. If you can do it at 35 then surely it should be straight forward if we’re only aiming for 45 or 55?

  28. Congratulations, Steve – retiring at age 35 is incredible! Very happy for you and will enjoy hearing your thoughts on how it feels as you get into 2017. It’s been 9 months for me and it is still very surreal.

  29. Pretty damn awesome man, I’m interested to know if you get bored and go back to work or if you slowly adjust to the new retired life. Life after work is always a wonder…

    1. I will be sure to keep you all updated on the blog, but boredom is never something that I’ve struggled with. I have a lot of projects going on, so there is always something that can be done. 🙂

  30. Hey Steve, don’t rub it in!
    – Sent from my cubicle on January 3rd.

    Seriously though, congrats, I can’t imagine the rush of happiness right now, and am just looking forward to it happening to me in a couple years.

    1. Hehe, thanks Stockbeard! It is pretty darn neat not to have to worry about a full-time job. It’s the mental aspect of early retirement that I like the best.

  31. Well done congratulations! We currently are working and according to our numbers we should be financially free in 5.7 years. Was it difficult when the time came to stop the rat race?, In our case we have a great paying job and we do enjoy however we still stuck?

      1. No rentals or investment properties of any kind. It’ll come from our short term savings account as well as our brokerage account, transitioning in the future over into a Roth conversion ladder so we can get at our longer term retirement savings early, penalty-free.

    1. Thanks Ted. It definitely wasn’t tough to quit the rat race. I did have a relatively high paying job, but that didn’t make the JOB itself any easier to do. I still derived virtually no satisfaction out of it, so I just couldn’t go on any longer in that kind of environment.

  32. This is so awesome to read. My husband and I are downsizing into a tiny house on wheels this year with our early retirement intentions. We’re 36 and 38 and hope to do this within two years time. Do you ever talk specifically about the financial planning and what financial planning milestones you had to hit to be able to retire? We know the 25 times your annual spend equation and what not… but I am still somewhat afraid of pulling the plug so early with uncertainty. I also wonder did you all factor in health insurance? That could be our biggest factor even though right now we’re both healthy people.

    Would love to know more!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jessica! We definitely factored in health insurance, and with our significant reduction in income in the future, we will quality for inexpensive health insurance on the Exchange. We don’t know exact costs yet because my wife is still working through April, but we should know more later this year.

      Regarding milestones, not really. We had a net worth number that we wanted to hit before we called it quits, and we hit that like 4 months ago. Ultimately, our flexibility post-retirement will be the key to *staying* retired. If things get tough, we adjust, even if that means finding odd jobs to do here and there. And even if we do need to do something like that, making this jump is still worth it. Working an extra DAY in a job that doesn’t satisfy me isn’t something that I accept any longer! 🙂

    1. Hehe, thanks Vigilante! It was a nice feeling to have. Got to focus entirely on having fun and enjoying myself throughout the whole vacation, not *just* the beginning of it! 🙂

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