How to Retire 35 Years Early

jrb451January 20, 2014

Wall Street Journal's Market Watch did a feature on Mr. Money Mustache, a man that retired when 30. It polarized and sparked some interesting comments from readers. He still works some but only on his terms.

He gets into more detail on his blog here

I guess the main take away for me was you can pare your costs significantly once you differentiate between your "needs" and your "wants".

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I read some of this but think common sense...from a VERY young age is the difference maker! Start setting goals even before you go to work and live smart. YES, differentiating between your wants and needs is vital! And then making smart financial decisions, like saving, investing, taking out a 15 year mortgage as opposed to a 30 year, paying HUGE attention to your credit score and paying cash for everything that you possibly can. Life is definitely not getting any easier...the cost of living continues to rise and the temptation for non-stop spending can be hard to ignore. We are bombarded with WHY we need WHAT! I told my daughter once to curb her impulse buying...don't just put it in the cart. Walk around the store and distract yourself...if at the end of your shopping trip this is a must-have, then get it...otherwise you don't need it. It works even better if you can leave the store and plan to go back the next day. Makes you think before spending. You can apply this to a great many financial challenges!

And no....I'm not young nor ready to retire...because I did all of this wrong. This is advice I've learned, too late in life to capitalize on it, but before I'm forced to live on a fixed income. :) Good luck to all!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:25AM
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On "Canadian MoneySaver" magazine there's a frequent contributor who retired at 34 or 35 ... wrote a book on "How to Stop Working".

I don't know whether you might be able to catch some of his articles if you go to and search for "derek foster".

The mag isn't slick and glitzy, carries no ads, is mainly articles and at the end of many of them there's a contact message: if one writes a message that's not somewhat frivolous, often the writers will reply.

Entirely subscriber-driven, they asked what the subscribers wanted and have put on seminars with the authours in a number of locations, plus in about 45 locations in Canada there are regular meetings of the local subscribers: I've attended the one in London monthly for something over ten years.

ole joyful ... who retired at about double that age: 67 or so - 17 years ago

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 1:28PM
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About 15 members at the investment meeting last night (another similar meeting conflicted some) and when I announced that I had only about 4 hours left to enjoy being 84 ... they didn't even sing " Happy birthday ... ".

A friend asked a while ago whether my employer-related pension had some indexing, and I said that in about the most recent ten years, usually there's been some increase, usually from about a quarter of one per cent to, occasionally, something like three per cent.

Also some minor increases in the government-provided ones, the non-contributory one (there's length of residence requirement) and the required contributory one that started in 1966.

Being somewhat frugal, by choice rather than necessity, I live within my pensions ... the investment is more or less "play money" ... until I may need it for medical-related treatments above those covered by our single-payer universal health care service.

Some say that it's "free" ... but, as you all know, health care isn't "free" wherever one receives it: there are insurance fees, taxes, or whatever to pay the costs.

Or I may well need to enter a residential or nursing facility as I become more infirm.

Thankful that I have quite good health, now ... apart from not being able to remember stuff.

Hope you all have a great year.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 4:52PM
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Happy Birthday joyful!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 7:18PM
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Thanks, jrb451.

When I first invited son and his partner to pizza and movie night at church (he's an atheist, of the rather militant variety), when he asked what the movie would be, I told him that they had three, and when everyone signed in (paying their $5.00), they got to pick their favourite ... and he rather bridled at not knowing ahead what he'd be seeing.

We had another last Saturday and he came (his second visit) and afterwards he, his partner and her mom, sat around a table and talked until they started turning out the lights. The movie was "I Walk the Line", about Johnny Cash.

ole joyfuelled ... with a bit o' help from pizza (plus salad and ice cream), that night

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 7:51PM
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Hey, Ole Joyful! Belated Happy Birthday! Sorry I missed it.

I think retiring early only works if you have things you want to do and the health to do them. I have depression if I stay home too much, so I've been working 20 hours/week for a former (wonderful) boss. It gets me out of the house and feeling like I am contributing something, but also gives me Mondays and Fridays to socialize or schedule appointments. So far, it is working. (My husband can't retire until 2020 if he wants a decent pension.)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 9:00PM
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I am figuring out how to work 32 hours per week now that I'm in my late 50s and have an elderly mother to help out. I have a husband with income too fortunately. I have to work at least that to get my health insurance paid for. I then pay for his out of pre tax dollars.
I am now working 36 hr and hope to go down to 32 this summer. I am also lucky that we have a business I can do some extra work in (for a higher hourly rate than my job) if I really need extra money. But yes, I will need to be very frugal to even pull that off. Especially since I pay for Mom's cell phone and her garbage removal and may need to do more as time passes.
Good luck all. I'm going to check out those articles.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 8:14PM
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Hi colorcrazy,

What is it about "freedom" that you find disconcerting?

Quite a few folks, having been retired for a while, say that they couldn't go to work - that they couldn't find the time to fit it into their busy schedule.

It's a big, old world out there - filled with a great variety of interesting things and projects, just waiting for you to get involved, along with lots of others.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:24PM
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A young fellow wrote an article in "Canadian MoneySaver" magazine a little over ten years ago, telling of a book he'd written, "Stop working - here's how ... I retired at 34".

Later he wrote another, called "The Idiot Millionare", and a couple of more, some of them making the Canadian best seller list.

He spoke at a recent investment forum in Toronto, making a report of his experience, ten years down the road. He's outgoing and vivacious, using body language, and looks at the audience while speaking.

He suggested that it's often a good idea to buy stock of companies dealing in consumer staples, as people buy toothpaste in good times and bad. He asked how many had brushed their teeth that morning ... and then how many hadn't. When only one hand went up (mine) he commented on that as being a bit unusual ... and I said "Not so surprising - no teeth"! And that brought forth a good laugh.

So ... don't worry too much if I threaten to bite you, O.K?

ole joyfuelled

    Bookmark   November 6, 2014 at 1:50PM
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More on the matter of the guy who wrote the book, "Stop Working - here's how: I retired at 34!", which made the best seller list, as did another, "The Idiot Millionaire" and another of similar ilk, dealing with helping children learn how to manage money.

Recently I've thought that, when he asked at the seminar on investments how many hadn't brushed their teeth that morning, I should have put up my hand, and when he commented on it being unusual that there was only one, stood up, walked to the front of the room, and asked him how many people did he know that could touch their nose with their chin? Then showed him how it's done, saying that my last four teeth left work and took pension last year.

ole joyfuelled ... who must now cut his regular fuel into small pieces

    Bookmark   November 25, 2014 at 5:17PM
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I don't think as a Millionaire you should get retired that early, we have more fun to explore in our working life. I love to see my working colleagues everyday, it's part of my life.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2014 at 9:03PM
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Hi Nicholas2014 ... and others ...

... but ... just think ...

... Suppose, that every hour ... of every working day... you didn't have someone telling you what to do ...

... but could do whatever you pleased???

What is it about freedom - that you find disconcerting?

ole joyfuelled

    Bookmark   November 27, 2014 at 3:22PM
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I am a retired US Navy Submariner that served on active duty for 24 years. I retired from the Navy in 1984 at age 42. I then worked as a very well paid Defense Contractor supporting Submarine development for ten years - and then simply burned out!

I fully retired at age 52! After six months my wife told me to either get a hobby... or get a divorce. lol (I could not afford the divorce, so I turned my love for my (English) Bulldogs into an avocation.)

I started exhibiting Bulldogs and occasionally breeding them.

It is the best thing I ever did! My blood pressure went down, no stress nor bitterness about work, etc, etc.

I have been a quite successful investor all of my adult life, so money was not a consideration. Having the "perfect" wife was also nice. (A "perfect" wife is a wife that has a job AND enjoys it.)

Now twenty years later, my wife just retired and is at home with me. No more Bulldogs, however we recently adopted a 4-year old retired racing Greyhound from the track in Tampa FL, and we are considering adopting a second!

Life is good!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2015 at 8:32AM
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