I think I could do it as I currently live, which is extremely minimalistic/frugally, with great financial discipline and control with what investments I have/cash flow. Would love to hear success stories, failures, mistakes, strategies, suggested reading, and advice to help me start toward this path, and see if it really might be feasible.
I hope this post does not turn into snarky "must be nice", etc... Extreme gratitude has always been my way of life, whether I had abundance or nothing, living FAR below poverty level... That will never change. Thanks SI.
The cruel, the unkind, those without honor, feast on the tender heart...
Here's one thing they have shared with me to consider... no matter how frugally you plan to live, you always spend more than you anticipate. Part of the reason is more free time - which my parents, at least, tended to fill with activities. Even "free" activities aren't truly free, if there are transportation costs, etc. to participate. And because at 50 you can reasonably plan to live another 30+ years, you really will need a solid savings to ensure you can do so comfortably. You might consider meeting with a financial planner just to chart what the future may look like. My parents consult with their planner (who happens to be my cousin) at least twice a year to ensure they are on track.
I wish you much luck - and I say I'm envious not with snark, but with the realization that I'm way too young to even begin thinking of retirement (only 41 here, with two kids still living at home!).
[This message edited by stroppy_wanadoo at 9:25 AM, August 19th (Tuesday)]
I really recommend reading/posting on the forums at Mr. Money Mustache, there is a great community there specifically focused on addressing all these questions about retiring early, living on less, what to plan for with your money and your time. Good luck!
They have had a wonderful time, and stay incredibly active. They are both now 71. They made some lucky investments, and have been able to maintain their lifestyle, and have plans for how they will continue to maintain it. As long as they do not live to 95 or older their funds will last.
I saved a lot of money, invested wisely and have a decent pension after teaching for 37 years. I am spending, but judiciously, I plan to live a
long time, but travel is a priority...
[This message edited by SpecialK at 10:59 AM, August 19th (Tuesday)]
What doesn't kill me, scars me.
From what I have observed in my extensive internet forum experience, the biggest hurdle people face when retiring early is health insurance costs before medicare eligibility kicks into effect. Just be sure you will be covered.
I second norabird's suggestion to check out Mr. Money Mustache. Boggleheads would probably have good information for you as well.
I love Mr. Money Mustache, and Boggleheads! also found http://earlyretirementextreme.com helpful too.
It is very intriguing to think about the idea, but I wonder if I could really do it? I am extremely introverted, and do not want to wind up like Howard Hughs, aside from my volunteer work. I have considered having a part time job just to stay a little connected with society. I dream of a very small simple dwelling, two car detached pole barn so I can work on my vehicles, maybe 15 acres where I can hunt, shoot, and enjoy the company of a similarly minded women in simple peace.
Health cost/issues is a huge concern prior to SS, and remains a worrisome detail. I do plan on taking SS at 62, using my xcheaters numbers, should I not have remarried.
I don't want to seem gauche, lookee me, or rub it in peoples faces, but I would value your ideas on what I have as the means to make this retirement happen/not plausible, with actual amounts I have given. I know we have some sharp financial cookies on SI, and I would value some input. Thanks again.
You might also have to revise your plans in terms of real estate; 15 acres will either cost you a LOT or, if it's cheap, be located in an area where you really don't want to live. Be sure to think about weather conditions in whatever area you pick. My brother moved to Arkansas to live more frugally, and subsequently found out that the area he picked has ice storms, tornadoes, droughts, high humidity and temps in the summer, etc. His previous home was 1 block from the beach in Florida. Oh well.
I would also volunteer one day a week on the weekend and see if you enjoy it. Some people do and some people don't - it is not good or bad.
I would also calculate how much you are giving up when you don't wait to take social security. It can make a huge difference.
This is the realistic part:
Health is a big issue and if one thing can set you back financially then I wouldn't retire.
If you dream is to own a home and you don't pay cash outright you may have difficulty qualifying without income. I know of divorced people with over a million but they don't have income and having difficulty qualifying. You could always buy the house before you retire.
If you have a house you will need repairs - most at retirement downsize for that reason because income is not coming in.
If you want to travel - living frugal and enjoying your new life is not always in sync.
The last and most important for some retirement is fun if you are planned but if you are not it can be lonely while everyone else is working. Instead of having all this time to do x the motivation changes and you end up spanning your laundry over days because you can and not just a few hours once a week.
Working provides socialization and affirmation. Downsize your role if need be but with costs and unexpected surprises I would unless you physically can't work wait until you can collect the maximum SS and bank all the extra for savings or travel.
It is easier to downsize in a job or a home but it is harder to come across a bump and have to go back. I stopped working a lot earlier for years so I get how it seems but life happens. I was fortunate but it is a hard road to enter the work force again.
Good luck but I would live now how you think you would live in retirement and see if financially and emotionally it works for you.
[This message edited by fireproof at 9:17 PM, August 19th (Tuesday)]
Actually doing the math and seeing the results is a very surreal experience. Retired at 48??? A lot of mixed emotions, and not sure even if I take the leap, how to begin. I almost feel shameful being able to do this... Thanks for listening, and again for the help and kind support.
Lots of people on there who retired early and love it! I'm 36, but hope to be able to retire early, and this group has been a help to me in so many ways.
Married: 11 years, no kids
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo
I was lucky enough to be able to retire early, though not as early as you. Congratulations! A perfect storm hit at the perfect time for me. I sometimes have to pinch myself to really believe that I am able to travel, volunteer, spend time with my family and friends and generally do what I want! I got a deal I just couldn't refuse!!
You've gotten some great advice here. Good luck!
ETA: if you go that route, be SURE to see only one who is Certified Financial Planner. They have a website where you can find several to talk with for free in your area before choosing one.
[This message edited by thebighurt at 4:30 PM, August 24th (Sunday)]
While looking at the feasibility of early retirement, I did have a very well reviewed USAA advisor/CFP/a dozen other acronyms with about 25 years of experience, go over my investable assets, and render it into a 70 page report. Much of what she advised, was already in practice by myself, using my own philosophy/method of investing for decades.
I chose not to use her, or any other % based advisor, as her fee would have been about $28,000/yr, based on about 2% of the total investments under management. Instead, as always, I keep a very large part with Vanguard (various taxable index funds), a stock portfolio I manage with many reinvested dividends, emergency cash, some IRA's in various low cost mutual funds, a 401k, and a decent sized annuity.
Still hard to believe it's a go if I choose to do so, and it will take time and great consideration to see if it really is what I want.