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Early retirement extreme

January 21st, 2010 at 10:27 pm

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I guess it's possible to retire in 5 years if you live a bare essentials existence and have a $80,000 income, but when your earnings are much more average and you want some of the things that make life a little more pleasant you're looking at a longer working life.

Still, it got me thinking. If living a minimalist existance for 5 years would guarantee I'd never have to work again, how much would I be prepared to give up?

No car? Don't have one anyway.

Shop in thrift stores forever after? Fine by me.

Never eat icecream and cake again? I guess so.

Give up drinking tea? Umm, I may have to think about this.

Spend the rest of my life knitting from my stash? Noooo you can't do this to me. I defend my right to buy more wool even if I'm working in Mcd's at 90.

How far are you prepared to go?

5 Responses to “Early retirement extreme”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Nah, living a bare-bones existence would be a last resort for me (like if I became unable to work and hadn't saved up much yet). I don't mind working, and too many things I love cost money (such as travel and specialty foods). My focus is to keep on working as long as I can, and budget smartly so that I can enjoy my money both while I'm working and after I retire.

  2. Caoineag Says:

    Given that there is no guarantee I will still be alive in 5 years, I choose to enjoy the journey while saving as much as I can without feeling deprived. We are much more likely to just keep working part time than quit completely. Though I am trying to save lots because there is no guarantee one of us won't end up unable to work at some point.

  3. Early Retirement Extreme Says:

    The most I made before I became FI was 42k, but for the first three years, I made around 25k (as a grad student). The key question is, how much of your net income can you save? If you can push that to 75%, you can make it in 5 years. I have all the things that makes life pleasant (I buy the good stuff and make it last, so I don't need to keep replacing it. For instance, my $200 hiking boots are now going on their 12th year. And they have walked +5000 miles), but I have found that more things do not make my life any better than it already is and that I do not need more things than I already have; except maybe some woodworking tools.

  4. Jerry Says:

    "Bare bones" leads to different definitions depending on who you talk to... I tend to agree with ERE above about good products offering decent insurance of lasting longer. I have boots that are a decade old and still going strong, while my parents will get a new cheap pair every year and end up paying more in the long run. For the record, I think that you should keep the tea and the wool! =)

  5. laceshawl Says:

    Thanx for the feedback ERE. You obviously value your freedom not to work so highly you are prepared to make great efforts to save. I quite enjoy working so will probably keep working part time while saving money at a lower rate. For me it's a marathon, not a sprint

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