Assuming you have a plan to overcome the dangers of retiring early discussed last week, then this tip is for you. We asked Sydney Lagier to share her story and tips with our readers so that you too could achieve an early retirement. Take it away Sydney!
I retired at 44, about two decades before “normal” retirement age. No, I wasn’t a trust fund baby and I didn’t hit it big with stock options. The simple truth is, the longer you work, the more money you’ll make. The more money you make the more stuff you get to buy. Whether your income is modest or whether it is six figures, there’s no getting around the fact that if you quit working 20 years early, you can’t spend all that money you would have earned.
There’s only one way to retire early: you’ve got to give up something.
Lifestyle inflation: Whether you landed a windfall or are just climbing the corporate ladder, the bottom line is the same: you can’t let your lifestyle inflate with your income if you want to retire early.
Lifestyle choices: I never heard that alarm of the biological clock. There’s no denying that not having kids allowed me to cross the finish line earlier than if I had diapers and college educations to pay for. For other people though, it might mean a smaller house or less frequent travel. If you’re going to ditch the workforce early, you’ll have to scale your lifestyle choices accordingly.
Identity: When you retire, you give up your work identity. That can be a tough adjustment, one that many people find harder than living on less money. Be sure you know what you’re retiring to, not just what you’re retiring from.
Ask Sydney your questions about ideas for early retirement.
Sydney Lagier is a former certified public accountant. Since retiring in 2008 at the age of 44, she has been writing about the transition from productive member of society to gal of leisure at her blog, Retirement: A Full-Time Job.