Want to retire young? Believe it or not, you already know how it is done

15 thoughts on “Want to retire young? Believe it or not, you already know how it is done”

  1. Yes reason definitely helped break into the FI/RE mindset. I’ve never been a spendy pants by definition, but I was much more lax in my spending in the past. When I moved to NYC, I saw the spendy pants galore with everyone eating out multiple times a day, brunching, drinks, etc. I decided to use my higher pay in a high COL to boost my savings rate. I was able to sell my car and dramatically reduce my cost of living by making a few sacrifices. Sure it would be really nice to have my car in the city for when I wanted to travel outside the city but my reason decided the $400/month to park it here, the insurance, etc. was not worth it!

    1. Yep, it’s “Spendy McSpenderson” syndrome. And I was right there with ya, too.

      Good on you for getting rid of your car. Yeah, the cost of parking alone is outrageous enough to make the reliance on public transportation that much more appealing. Shesh, $400 a month is significantly more than we pay for gas and insurance for all three of our vehicles here in AZ (one being a motorcycle). Looks like you made a great decision.

      Thanks for your comment. I always appreciate the read. 🙂

  2. I think some of the plan for early retirement bloggers is that we have chosen what’s important to us. I have a big screen TV, it’s really nice, but before that I had the same TV since I bought one in 2003. I didn’t put this TV on a credit card, I paid with cash. I didn’t upgrade to the entire movie/sports/online package, I downgraded to the internet and few local stations. I know missing a sports game or missing a favorite TV is nothing close to even the idea of Financial Independence and if choices like that will get me their, I might just go get my old college TV.

    I used the TV as an example but obviously the bigger the item ie the Big 3 (house, car, food) the faster you can reach FI or for that matter spend, choices are available to everyone, it just depends what’s important to you.

    1. Yep, I completely agree. Life is a series of trade-offs. Making the best decisions to support your goals is what accounts for success in my opinion. Most early retirement bloggers are doing just that, and kicking some serious ass in the process.

      Thanks for visiting!

  3. This made me think of the conversation I had with my brother today. He recently wired me $12K because he was going to buy a 1965 Lincoln something or another. I tried to convince not to buy it and do something more productive with his money.

    The deal fell through. So I took the opportunity to offer him some investment ideas that I told him I would manage for free for him.

    He has been saying he wants to start making some money on his money. I told him about a particular investment I am looking at that pays 7% through a private REIT. He asked how much he would make. I told him if he didn’t reinvest his dividends that he could expect to make about $70 per $1,000 he invested.

    He decided it wasn’t worth it to him.

    He will likely go and blow the money on something else.

    At least I can say I offered. He want’s a get rich quick or nothing at all…don’t we all???

    It doesn’t work like that. Compounding in powerful, but it is not magical. You can’t start with nothing and expect a fortune. You have to start with something. And compounding gets more powerful over time.

    Cheers!

    1. It is really sad because so many people are in this boat. MOST people have every opportunity to save their money and invest in their future, but they just don’t. Then, they lament the fact that retirement just seems so far off.

      Retirement is a moving target. The less you spend, the closer retirement gets. The more you spend, the further away it gets. It ain’t rocket science, but it does seem to be a difficult thing for the “instant gratification” folks in our society.

  4. This article is so true. Saving up for retirement isn’t rocket science, yet some people fail to do it. I agree that some of us might live paycheck to paycheck even with the most frugal lifestyle possible, but for people who do have some spare cash to save but still “can’t” save for retirement, it’s time to change their mindset and lifestyle.

    1. I am hoping that the more of us who succeed at this whole early retirement thing, the more possible it will appear to those who may not have made the decision to save every penny rather than spend it. Almost anything is possible in this country – you just gotta want it. 🙂

  5. You make a great point – even though we have been trying to cut our spending and live with less for over a year, we still struggle occasionally with wanting to buy something excessive. It can be hard to go without, especially if all your friends and coworkers are the spendy types. In theory, saving is ridiculously simple, but in practice it is made so much more difficult in our consumerist society.

    1. To me, this journey isn’t about perfect. I’m far from perfect, too, but I think we both have our minds focused on the end goal of exiting the rat race early. Imagine how you’ll look to your friends when you’re retired decades before they would even consider such a thing. But I agree, sometimes it isn’t easy. Staying strong is the key.

  6. There’s a reason budgeting/finance is compared to a diet. Yes, that chocolate looks amazing, and it will probably taste great. But if you eat it, that’s one step backwards from fitness.

    That doesn’t mean you *have* to avoid it. It’s a matter of being aware of the consequences, and then making a choice based on that. Some days, the chocolate is worth it. Other days, the fabulous (and slightly snug) dress takes precedence.

    1. Yep, life is nothing but a series of choices. The more informed you are regarding these choices, the better decisions that you ultimately make. Effectively, you’re giving REASON a chance. And yes, some days, chocolate really is worth it. 🙂

  7. Steve,

    Yeah, good stuff. Early retirement definitely isn’t for everyone, which is okay. No problem if you like the idea of working until you’re old. The problem, however, is when you don’t like that idea.

    I liken saving money and achieving financial independence to losing weight. Both are simple, but not easy. Taking in less calories than you burn or spending less money than you take in are both simple concept, but they’re incredibly hard to master and stay consistent with in real life. Just one of those things. I guess that’s why “the same old, same old” pops up every day – to keep people on the righteous path.

    Cheers!

    1. It is funny how similar saving money and losing weight really are. They both can be tough, but they are also equally rewarding. Believing that it can happen in the first step towards making it a reality.

      Cheers to you as well. 🙂

  8. We definitely know people who may never retire — some are workaholics, some like the spending. And hey, if that’s your thing, rock on. It is soooooo not our thing, of course!

    The struggle with reason is real for all of us, though, not just bad savers. Even since we’ve been in focused ER saving mode, we’ve still bought a few things by justifying them as one-time purchased. And yeah, that surround sound system is sweet and all, but was it worth giving up 45 days of early retirement? Doubtful. (At least some major parts were secondhand.)

    One day at a time… 🙂

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