A Little Background (Start Here)

My wife and I "retired" at the age of 43 to escape from what we saw as a crazy world of deadlines and endless "busy-ness" where the payoff didn't offset the cost. Our careers as middle and high school teachers had started off with enthusiasm, but as the years had gone by, that enthusiasm had dwindled. There were days when we felt as though we were going through the motions, checking off all of the boxes to show that our students had passed all of the tests, but no longer feeling the spark that we once had as educators. We began looking for a way out. I created this blog for others who may be in a similar situation, whether it be in education or another profession, who are looking for some inspiration for creating a new life. It has been four years since we left our jobs and began living again. We've had our share of ups and downs but have never looked back. While most days from our working lives were seldom memorable and now seem like a blur, my wife and I can recall in vivid detail hundreds of experiences we have had in the past four years. Our lives are now our own, and that's the way we like it. Where it will lead us from here is anybody's guess. The adventure continues...

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Early Retirement Blog

Radical Immediate Retirement Ebook

When reading as many books and websites as I have over the years on the topic of early retirement, a common theme starts to emerge.

Guest Post by David Downie - Radical Immediate Retirement

This guest post is written by David Downie, an initial self confessed early retirement skeptic, who bit the bullet and retired at 38. Having not planned for this, and after looking at others who had pulled the pin without a conscious stockpile, he wondered if it were possible for anyone, in almost any position, to retire without notice.

Housing Expenses

When we started looking for ways to trim the fat from our budget so we could retire early, it made sense to begin with one of our biggest expenses...housing.  The following are some questions that are worth considering: 

  • Insurance - Is your house over insured?  Determine the replacement cost of your home to see if it is possible to reduce your insurance premiums.

Cutting Expenses

For many, the American dream has turned into the American nightmare. The goal of owning a home with a picket fence has turned into a competition to own the largest home on the block with the nicest car and the coolest toys. The average home size has doubled since the 1950's even as family sizes have shrunk. The cost of living that kind of life requires spending most of our waking hours servicing the debt that goes along with it. Over time, those who live that life become numb to the price that must be paid to maintain it.

Inspiration

Cutting your ties to a job while still relatively young is both exciting and scary.  Anytime you go against the herd, it’s hard to shake the feeling that everybody knows what they are doing except you.  It helps to know that there are some other lone wolfs out there who have taken the plunge.  For us, inspiration came from couples such as Billy and Akaisha Kadderly, who retired many years ago at the age of 38 to a life of travel and adventure.

What is Retirement?

As a kid, my idea of retirement consisted of visiting with family and friends while sitting contentedly on the porch swing watching the seasons change. After all, that was the life that my grandparents had lived. As an adult, the idea of retirement developed into that magical and long awaited period in life when I could travel to far flung corners of the world, read all those classics that I had eventually planned to get to, and one by one, check off all of the items on my bucket list.

The Ultimate Cheapskate

While looking for ways to lower our “magic number,” we focused on cutting our expenses without sacrificing too many of the comforts that we were used to.  While doing research, I came across a really funny but thought provoking book called The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches: A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less

Retire Early by Living Abroad

Knowing how much money you will need to retire (the magic number) depends on how much money you plan to spend. It goes without saying that a couple who can live on $30,000 per year will have a much lower magic number than one living on $60,000. When I started closely tracking how much money we spent, I knew it would take a big chunk of change to amass enough savings to retire early. Our only options were to reduce our expenses or keep working.

The "Magic Number"

There are a number of calculators on the internet that will allow a future retiree to punch in the numbers to see if they have enough money to retire. You can find some of them at this link: http://moneyover55.about.com/od/preretirementplanning/a/retirementcalcul... The problem with most of them is that it is difficult if not impossible to make an accurate projection of how well your investments will do for even a short period of time, much less for decades.

How much does it take?

When my wife and I starting thinking seriously about retiring early, we gave a lot of thought to "The Magic Number." That number consisted of the amount of money that we needed to have in order to leave our jobs and feel confident that we wouldn't have to return to them down the road. It quickly became apparent that "the number" was a moving target and depended on a number of variables that were impossible to predict.

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