Screw it! I am retiring by 36, and here is how

27 thoughts on “Screw it! I am retiring by 36, and here is how”

  1. Great plan, and congrats on moving forward in your plan to retire early. Being able to save on income is a great benefit, as is living frugally. My wife and I also have a similar scenario of living on one income, and the rewards will come as the years tick by.

    1. Yep, the rewards will come. I’d say that your change of lifestyle now is definitely making it possible to truly enjoy all that life has to offer later. It’s nearly impossible to change your lifestyle after retirement. Change it now and you are absolutely golden for your soon-to-be jobless bliss. 🙂

  2. Wow! Saving 80k per year??? I’d like to be able to do that too! I could retire within 5 years! 🙂 I’m going to do my best and hopefully I’ll be able to save 25k-30k per year while refunding my mortgage at the speed of light (6-7 years) and then I guess I’ll be able to save at least 40-50k per year. It’s already amazing since my initial plan was to save 10k per year! 🙂 If my online income could start to pick up, that would be additional income that could go right into my brokerage account plus all my dividends that I will reinvest.

    You seem to have a good plan and it’s true that “Once you make the intelligent decision to retire early, your life changes almost instantly. ” That’s what happened to me too. Finally, things make sense.

    Good luck with your plan

    1. Thanks Allan. The dual incomes definitely help to build up our savings every year. It’s actually quite amazing how much that we COULD be spending if we didn’t have a goal of financial independence and early retirement within 7 years. Sadly, a typical American family probably would be spending a good majority of that cash.

      Nothing wrong with saving $25 to $30k a year. Ultimately, it is your lifestyle that determines when you can retire. The less expensive your lifestyle, the earlier that you can retire…on less.

      Thanks, and all the best.

  3. Good luck on your journey to retire by 40. I really enjoy reading blogs of those who have retired early or on that journey. I never exactly stated that goal, but it is something that has crossed my mind. Living in a high cost of living area (NYC) makes it tougher…though not necessarily impossible. We’ll see.

    1. Good luck to you, Andrew. While living in a high cost of living can play negatively on your pocketbook, there are some benefits – like, for the example, not having a car and paying insurance on that sucker, which most other people in lower cost of living areas certainly do.

      Keep focused on the goal and you’ll be out early too.

  4. Good for you! Selling the Corvette must have been tough, but it shows commitment. As much fun as they are, those kinds of cars really keep you from reaching your financial goals. I had a 2011 Camaro convertible that I absolutely loved – but ultimately had to get rid of for the same reasons. As much fun as it was, it is far more fun to look towards that early retirement!

    1. While tough, selling the Vette was actually easier than I had originally imagined. Yes, I loved that car – it truly did bring happiness and excitement into my life. But it also absolutely drained my pocketbook. It was that element of the car that made the sale pretty easy to stomach. My love for the car didn’t extend past the relatively high cost of maintaining that sucker.

      Looks like you went through the same thing with your Camaro. They are fun cars, but are they $5k/year fun? $10k/year fun? To us, the answer was no.

      …and my pocketbook is that much richer for it, as I’m sure yours is as well.

  5. Nice post and follow through. I got started a bit too late in life but I would like to early semi retire by 55. I wouldn’t mind working part time 24 hours a week. At least to keep funding our 401k, ROTH’s and keeping the excellent medical benefits. Plus it will give us time to downsize. Still trying to get the wife 100% on board :/ I just turned 47 so that is 8 years away.

  6. Hi Steve. I’m new to your blog and found it over on 1500 days. I love the passion. Our car tastes are quite similar as I bought a used CTS after I got my first big boy job, and I always dreamed of buying a used Corvette as my 2nd car (I am now car free living in NYC). Couple of questions which you may have answered subsequent to this post:

    1) What is your “number”? If hit it at age 38, would you pull the plug then?
    2) How much a pay decrease (if any) did you take by quitting your director role and working from home?


    1. Hey Fervent Finance!

      Glad you found the blog, and I appreciate the questions. Yup, looks like our car choices definitely do coincide well – though, it seems like you did this a little better than I did. You didn’t end up buying the Vette, and you got your CTS used. Two very, very wise choices my friend. 🙂

      Regarding your questions:

      #1: Honestly, we haven’t established a number that we need before officially retiring from our jobs. Instead, we have criteria that we will need to meet, and it all depends on how our future move to Sedona, AZ goes. If we are able to get into a cheap place without much of a mortgage, then our retirement date gets moved up substantially. If our relocation winds up costing us more than expected, then it may push our date out some.

      A lot of people try to establish a number, but neither my wife or I feel like that’s enough of a qualifier. So many other factors play into our ability to support our lifestyle after we retire, from our yearly expenses, to our mortgage situation and any side income that we can generate. I would like to say that once we hit $1m net worth, we can retire. But unfortunately, it’s not that simple. We plan on publishing a budgeting article in the next couple of weeks that will provide a lot more detail into how we are crunching the numbers and positioning ourselves to quit the damn rat race as soon as possible.

      But yes, if I can retire when I’m 38 instead of 40 based on our financial situation, then absolutely – I’m out as soon as possible. I am considering the 40 number to be a nice, round number that is our “worst case scenario”.

      #2: Actually, I got a $20k pay INCREASE by leaving my director role and taking my current work-from-home gig. It was a no-brainer when you consider our goal to retire early. But, if I fully planned on working for the next 30 years of my life, it probably would have made more sense for me to have stayed as a Director because of the managerial doors that it would have opened, not to mention the high level decision-making experience that I was getting. My title there was much more impressive than my title now. Fortunately, I don’t care about titles. I care about enjoying jobless bliss in the future. 🙂

      Luckily, I don’t plan on working another 30 years, and the additional salary will go much, much further in support of our goals and will have a much more powerful impact on when we can retire. My salary went up, but our spending certainly didn’t. We are funneling all that dough, along with my wife’s entire salary, into our savings.

      Thanks again for stopping by! I’m an open-book by nature, so feel free to ask anything you like going forward.

  7. Hey Steve – I must say I am disappointed that I am just now finding this post. I really like the concept of living off of only one salary and saving the rest. It’s funny how we think we can afford more when salaries increase, but in reality we’re just changing our own reality – if that makes sense. When we add another salary or increase our income, we tend to buy more stuff and live “better”. I use “we” loosely of course, meaning the average consumer. As always, great writing, and I look forward to reading your future posts. Also – good luck on this quest!

    1. Thanks Chris. Yup, when our lifestyle increases as our salaries go up, then we effectively don’t get a raise at all. Little additional savings. Little additional net worth. When your salary is going to fund an expensive lifestyle, then you know that you’ve got a problem that will eventually come to a head one of these days.

      It’s fun now…but, will it be fun later? For us, it will be fun later. 🙂

      1. Hi Steve,

        I’m 41 and recently sold my business and moved into retirement. I have a young family which i get to spend heaps of time with.

        My question is, when you retire what are you going to do to keep your mind/ skills sharp? If any.

        Honestly I’m finding the dramatic change of pace confronting (great problem to have, right). From the hussle of running a business to having no staff, no career pressure, no career purpose, I’m at a loss of what to focus my energy on. I’ve worked so hard to get here…

        My mates are all working and the only people who are on the golf course during the day are 20 or 30 years older than me.

        I’d appreciate your thoughts.


        1. Hey Andrew – hobbies and side hustles are what keep me busy. Work never really “defined” who I was. I always had hobbies outside of work, and they definitely keep me busy each and every day. There are a lot of opportunities out there to get involved that most of us don’t see when we’re working full-time jobs. But once our jobs are removed from our thought process, we can begin to consider so many other options that escaped us in the past. 🙂

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