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Hi!

Joe UdoMy name is Joe Udo and I want to change the way you think about retirement. If you are reading this blog, you probably have retirement on your mind. Is it really possible to Retire By 40? Let’s put off the retirement topic for now and focus on what you really want to do. What is your ultimate goal? Do you enjoy your job and would love to do it until you can’t do it anymore? Let’s face it, most of us only drag ourselves out of bed and go to the office/work site because we need the money to pay the bills. Could there be an alternative? Would you rather go it alone if money wasn’t an issue? The Retire By 40 Value Proposition outlined why you should spend your valuable time here.

Update: I left my job in July 2012. I’m a full time stay at home dad right now and I love it!

retire by 40

Here at Retire By 40, we will explore leaving the day job much earlier than 65. This can be done by aggressively saving and investing as soon as you start working. Many financial advisers will tell you to save 10% of your income for retirement and you will be ok. If you love your job, then I think this is an OK model, but how many of us really love their job? Instead, Mrs. RB40 and I have been saving and investing over 50% of our take home pay for many years now. We live on one paycheck and minimize our expenditures for this to be possible.

I have been investing our savings for over 15 years and I am focusing on income producing assets over the past few years. If you want to retire early, passive income is a must have. Along with passive income, I am also developing side income to ease my transition from a fulltime corporate employee to a self employed stay-at-home dad. Currently, I am focusing my energies on the following income streams:

Passive and side income

Dividend portfolio – Target $1000/month. Currently making about $550/month.

Rental properties – Target $1,000/month. Currently making about $600/month. The housing crash was a great opportunity to get into the rental business and we picked up a 4-plex in 2011.

P2P lending – Target $200/month. Currently making about $50/month.

Online – Target $500/month. Currently averaging $200/month. Making money online is not stable and can change at any time so this will be a long road. We are transitioning to CPC and affiliate ads so the income dropped quite a bit from last year.

Confession time

Our passive income is currently not enough to cover our expenses. Head over to see my latest cash flow report and you will see that Mrs. RB40 will continue to work after I quit my day job. She likes her job and she wants to continue to be a contributing member of the work force. Some people will say that’s not true retirement if your spouse still works, but everyone is different. Some people want to work in a corporation, some want to work for the government, and I want to be a stay-at-home dad. Of course, once baby RB40 goes off to school, then I will explore self employment more. It’s still retirement to me as long as I can follow my motivation and not sit in a grey cubicle for 8-10 hours per day.

Follow my journey

I am 38 years old now and time is running out. It is not because I will be turning 40 soon, but it is because I know my time in the corporate world is winding down. I am completely burned out and can’t stand the corporate environment anymore. The transition to being a stay at home dad is the right move for me because it will give me time to recuperate and figure out what to do next. As long as it’s not corporate, I think it will be fine.

Retiring By 40 big goal, but a bigger challenge is what’s after my retirement party? I went to work right after I graduated from college and I’ve been working in a corporation for 16 years now. Many people quit their job, but eventually go back to work. Staying out of the corporate world will be huge challenge and will be a large part of Retire By 40?s future.

Update: I left my job in July 2012. I’m a full time stay at home dad right now and I love it!

stay at home dad retire before 40

Thanks for reading!

-Joe Udo

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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

ABR October 11, 2010 at 12:11 am

I knew Michelle long ago. I am interested in seeing what happens? The best of luck to you!

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retirebyforty October 11, 2010 at 1:00 am

Thank you! Keep reading and see if I can do it. Michelle is the Editor in chief.

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Kay Lynn Akers October 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Hi, I can’t figure out how to subscribe via RSS. What’s your feed?

P.S. Welcome to the Yakezie.

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retirebyforty October 12, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I made a feedburner link. This link below should work or click on the orange RSS symbol at the right column.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/retireby40.org/?feed=rss

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Investor Junkie October 23, 2010 at 9:07 am

Hi,
I’m not trying to sound mean, but you state retire by 40, but then state on this page to retire by 60? I’m confused.

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retirebyforty October 23, 2010 at 9:30 am

Investor Junkie,
Thank you for your input. I clarify a bit above, but to me retiring means leaving my 9-5 job. Many retired seniors join the Peace Corp. Michelle did a two years stint when she first graduated from college.

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bowgirl June 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

The goal is to retire from full time chained to a schedule kind of employment. When you retire young, managing your portfolio/investments becomes your job.

This is my first post. I disbanded a business of 14 years when my youngest graduated from high school, meeting my goal to not work full-time after that. That was 5 years ago in the fall of 2007. I took a cash position in all retirement and tax deferred accounts, went sailing and waited for the train to crash. Then I went from a buy and hold to and income driven with a bit of growth investor. The reality is I SAY I work more than I want but when I have a large time void I fill it up, some with an expanded new business, volunteering or sail boat racing.

There are many nay sayers. I was an original Motley Fool, was told I was nuts and it couldn’t be done so I left the group and did my thing and stopped listening to “advice” If you see a clear path that will work for you and the numbers work step away from the herd.

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retirebyforty June 16, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience. Wow, an original Motley Fool. That’s pretty awesome. It sounds like you’re living the life you want and you’re enjoying it. That’s great. I’m busy with the kid these days, but I’ll have a lot more time when he goes off to school full time. I’ll have to figure out what I want to do with my time then.

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Mike November 8, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I like your description! Good Luck getting there. :-)

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Rich@Life Compass November 10, 2010 at 5:52 am

I’m glad I found your blog – I’ll look forward to following your journey. I just turned 40 in August, so I’ve passed your deadline…but I am doing the work I love and have time to serve with organizations and causes I care about, so it doesn’t really feel like work to me.

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retirebyforty November 10, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Thanks for stopping by! Yeah the problem is I don’t love my job all that much anymore. It’s really time to move on. :)
I need to find something I care about.

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Colleen Friesen December 22, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Hello Joe & Michelle,
Great plan…it’s all very achievable. I know, because my husband and I have been retired for 14 years (as of Dec 20th :) and we both quit when he was 39 and I was 36 years old. You don’t need a fortune and you don’t need to listen to the traditional investment planners who tell you that you need 70 or 80% of what you’re making now…that’s a recipe for never retiring. Retirement is not the right word. We’re doing more now than we ever did. I discovered writing and my husband is on a learning streak that included completing a masters in economics. Stay focused. This is great stuff. If you ever want to ‘talk’, please drop by my site and send a comment my way.
All the best…Colleen Friesen

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retirebyforty December 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Colleen, Thank you for the encouraging words! I’ll definitely head over and chat. :)

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Financial Samurai December 26, 2010 at 7:42 am

I’m excited to see you retire in 3.5-4 years Joe and have your wife work! That would be sweet! I’m feeding off my post “The Secret To Early Retirement”. :)

Sam

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retirebyforty December 26, 2010 at 4:14 pm

The best financial advice I can give anyone is to marry the right girl. :)
Thanks for linking!

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youngandthrifty December 27, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Awe- that’s a nice quote!

I should tell my boyfriend that. LOL.

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youngandthrifty December 27, 2010 at 9:58 pm

I love Okonomoyaki! What about a ramen joint? You should come up to Vancouver BC for some ideas.

My brilliant idea (which hasn’t come about yet) is to put a hot pot joint in Whistler BC. There are lots of Japanese and Asian tourists that frequent Whistler and hot pot is delicious when the whether is cold (with some cold beer, of course!)

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retirebyforty December 28, 2010 at 8:57 am

We have a ramen joint here in Portland.
Hot pot restaurant sounds good, but it’s a lot of work. There is a hot pot restaurant right near our place and their food is OK. I think hot pot is better at home. I think a hot pot restaurant would do great in Whistler. You can charge 20 bucks a person and people would gladly pay.
We live right next to the university downtown and the students would love okonomiyaki with some beeru.

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youngandthrifty February 24, 2011 at 12:21 am

I love Portland- such a beautiful city. Ahh, hungry students love their Okonomayaki. Good luck with your idea, I’ll be sure to visit it when I come down to Portland :)

That would be my ideal retirement, to open up a restaurant and work in it as I please.

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lovely leverage January 11, 2011 at 6:45 am

Hi Joe and Michelle,
My boyfriend and I plan to “retire” by 30. I’m 25 and he is 26. I’m sure we can all get there in 4 years. I have a plan on my blog, if you are intereted you can check it out. Work smart and good luck.

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retirebyforty January 11, 2011 at 9:20 am

Looks like a good plan. I also think real estate is also the way to go. I’ll keep checking your progress!

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Little House January 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

I’m curious as to what Michelle will be doing at “work” while you “retire” at 40? Does her work involve working from home? I think it’s a great plan you’ve sketched out for yourselves.

P.S. My husband and I also have 3 crazy cats so I can relate. ;)

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retirebyforty January 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

She is a workaholic. If I let her quit working, she would find a way to work without getting paid. She is already spending so much time working for free for Toastmasters….
She is in HR and likes it.

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retired&retiring again soon... July 17, 2011 at 5:21 am

I am wondering, how would you deal with Healthcare after retirement? I am 32 and had left my corporate job at 29 to run my business. After running the business for 3 Years, business ran out of steam. I ended up returning to corporate job again so I can have benefits for wife and kids. I have No debt, but can’t get over the health insurance part…As self employed for three years I paid more than $800 / month in self insurance….

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retirebyforty July 17, 2011 at 4:40 pm

In the short term, I will go on Mrs. RB40’s healthcare plan. She’ll keep working for a while after I quit my day job. In the long term, I’m not sure. I’ll probably end up working part time to get some form of health insurance. $800/month is a tough pill to swallow!

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Brave New Life August 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Hey – thanks for the shout out. It puts more pressure on me to accomplish my goal – as if I lacked motivation. :)

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retirebyforty August 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm

We early retiree wanna be have to stick together! :)

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Mark February 15, 2012 at 3:48 am

If you just quit your job, you’ll figure out how to make it sooner.

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retirebyforty February 15, 2012 at 9:13 am

I’m way too chicken to quit my job just like that.

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R.T. February 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I think you’re on the right track. Noone can blame you for not wanting to up and quit your job! Don’t give up on your entrepreneurial plans though (food cart,restaurant). You don’t have to wait for your kid to go off to school to start exploring your options. Now is when you should be researching, planning, and toying with different ideas. I’ve enjoyed checking out your site and one thing that has really popped out at me is your ambition. In my opinion that’s the key element in prospering financially. You haven’t swayed from your game plan to date so why not start taking it one step further by paving the way for some sort of small business? Honestly, I feel that working for yourself is the only way you can get ahead today. It’s been my game plan anyway.

R.T.
MillionDollarPursuit.com

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retirebyforty February 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Thanks for your comment! I also think working for yourself is the way to go. Working for a corporation isn’t secure anymore and you are just enriching someone else.

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Parenting and Money March 9, 2012 at 3:59 am

Thanks for the like on FB! I have the same goals except my target is 45-50. I need a little bit more time :-). We are saving aggressively so hopefully I can do it sooner. My motivation is to be able to spend more time with my son. Good luck!

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retirebyforty March 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm

That’s one of my main goal too. I’m finding out that it’s quite difficult to keep up with the little dude and work on the blog. He demands so much attention.

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Will March 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Retirebyforty, I just stumbled upon your website and love it. I had one question. I see that you are trying to live on Mrs. RB40’s paycheck, but how much is your paycheck and how is it being distributed to investments? Thanks.

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retirebyforty March 13, 2012 at 10:51 pm

You can read my guest post at GRS to gain a bit of insight, but the short answer is a tiny bit over six figures/year.
http://getrichslowly.org/blog/2012/03/11/reader-story-re-evaluating-the-rat-race/
Any new money coming in is going to dividend stocks or index fund at this point. Overall, we’re probably at about 70/30 stock market/real estate. I’ll need to check my spreadsheet.

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SmallIvy April 2, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I’m not sure that I’d call leaving your wife to work as “retiring.” When you get married, you become one, so you really can’t say you “retired” unless you’ve both quit working. At least that is my logic, which may well not mean a hill of beans.

My wife left corporate life to take on the really tough but really important job of raising our children. I’ll probably get to the point in about 2-4 years at about age 42 (assuming the stock market ever gets going – common, Santorum) where I could replace my entire income from investments.

We could really retire at that point, but that is way to much living to do and I like my job. I’ll probably continue on and just enjoy using the extra income to help fund some niceties while continuing to become wealthier. I’ll probably also increase giving to friends and strangers.

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Alan Cao April 5, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Hi, this is great! I am just 40 now and have been thinking (and preparing?) about getting retired. What I can learn from you is to really make it real and to be true myself. I may just get retired soon … Will keep watching your site and I may start some thing similar. Please let me know if you come to China some day.

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Steven May 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

I think about retiring every day, but it probably won’t be for a long while. I wasted a lot of time with junky jobs when I was younger, but now I’m socking away as much as I can into my 401k and also my own “play” portfolio (to see if I can beat the returns on my 401).

First time I heard about Okonomiyaki was from watching a dopey Taiwanese drama. I keep thinking about it now! I think an Okonomiyaki restaurant would be a great idea.

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retirebyforty May 4, 2012 at 10:09 am

Good luck! It takes a long time to save up for retirement, but keep working on it.
I think an Okonomiyaki restaurant would be a big hit around a college campus.

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30sAndRetired May 27, 2012 at 4:28 am

My wife and I are both in our mid-30s. We definitely feel like we are already retired; no debt, paid off house, work from home, plan international travels, etc.

I just opened up a blog too reflect our debt free, retired at 30s lifestyle. My wife and I will both blog about our experiences and hope you would find our entries to be inspiring and helpful.

P.S. retirebyforty – I am not posting our blog’s link into my post. If you think it would be helpful to share, please feel free to post it to your readers.

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RichUncle EL July 11, 2012 at 8:09 am

Once you make the jump to Stay at home dad will you handle the property management on the 4 plex or will you still have them manage the property for you. What is the cost for something like that? Looking forward to seeing you take the leap in the future.

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retirebyforty July 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

I’ll continue to hire the property manager. I want the 4 plex to be as passive as possible.

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willis September 4, 2012 at 6:31 am

Sounds like IBM?

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John September 4, 2012 at 9:18 am

Joe, I love your plan. I got a similar mindset. When I tell people I want to retire by 45 I’m talking about moving on from my corporate job to doing something I love, like maybe starting a non-profit. I also loved your quote about marrying the right girl is the best financial plan.

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Ed Draiss October 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Hi RB40,
Nice site. I agree with and follow a good deal of your principles. I am just finding out over the last year that there are others who have had the same thoughts. Now I can laugh at people at work who call me the most minimal man in the world. Anyway, I started down this path about 13 years ago. My target savings (investing) is 30% of gross / 45% of net income on a yearly basis. I usually beat it. For this year I am 41% of gross / 62.5% of net.
EdD

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retirebyforty October 10, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Thanks! Your target saving rate is great!

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DollarsAndSense November 2, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Good luck with your future endeavors! My personal opinion is that it’s great your child has at least 1 parent as a constant presence in his life (until he can fly on his own). My wife and I are mid-40’s with a son graduating next year (he’s interested in pursuing Engineering like I did.. yikes). Yes, 12 years ago, I also resigned from my DOD civilian Engineering job to become a SAHD. It’s a l-o-n-g story ultimately about making this strategic choice (pharmacist wife could get a 6-figure job at double my salary) – however, she said no day care. She didn’t want the worries of daycare and a new job. I was also feeling a rut with my career and my engineer entrepreneur brother said I could help part-time with stuff he was working on… so, I decided to quit. We had a large savings cushion (aggressive savers) in case we needed it.

It’s been a dozen years now… and I have to say it’s been a pretty wild trip! You just started your SAHD journey and I can say despite my wife and I having shared common goals, we did hit some rough patches along the way. There are emotions- fear, insecurity, guilt, doubt, regret… that can come into play down the road. Perhaps your next decade will be totally smooth… but, if not… always try and talk it through and be understanding and supportive of each other. Blame and belittling have no place in a team. Remember, it’s your team against the world. Best of luck to your team!

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retirebyforty November 3, 2012 at 8:14 am

Thanks for sharing! I really appreciate it. It’s been pretty smooth so far, but it’s only been 3 months. I was really miserable previously so it’s a big improvement so far. I’ll keep your advice in mind and make sure to communicate with Mrs. RB40.

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Sandy November 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Hello,

Just stumbled upon your blog and I love it! I’m retiring from my current job December 31, 2012 after working there for 18 years. Actually, I think my mind left the building at least 6 months ago. I was trying to make it work but my soul just wasn’t in it any more. My health finally forced me to make a decision and guess what? I think my health will be fine now that I’m leaving. Funny how our bodies will let us know when it’s time to leave a situation that no longer works for us. It also helps to have the support of my husband. I’m 56 and will retire for one full year to finally finish my long-term goal of completing my bachelor degree. I have to take a little bit of money out of my 401K but I won’t have any debt when I graduate. I can take the money without penalty.

Good for you for having the courage to leave a job that no longer made your heart sing! You look very happy being a stay at home dad. I’m sure your wife appreciates it too. Hopefully, when she gets home all she needs to do is relax and spend time with her family. I have you bookmarked so I’m sure I’ll be a frequent visitor. You provide a lot of very good information on your site.

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retirebyforty November 18, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Congratulation! I know how you feel. I’m sure your health will improve a ton once you leave the job.
Money is nice, but health is much more important.
Good luck with the Bachelor degree. Thanks for stopping by.

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Brenda March 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I just recently discovered your site. I have really been enjoying it thus far and have also found inspiration…..Thank you! But my favorite thing about this article is that you put up a picture of yourself!! :)

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wayne creel March 24, 2013 at 10:23 am

Hello all,.

It is never too late to learn :)

thank you
wayne

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Carolynn March 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Thanks for the news letter.

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Ife April 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

I left the “Corporate World” in 83. Went back to College for a while and earned my certification in Early Childhood Developement. Went on to substitute teach p/t for 9 years in the Public School System as I grew my family. Left education in 99 and continued with tutoring p/t, side businesses and eventually chose to home-school my children for 51/2 years and got them into college. I again changed course and eventually studied Wholistic Health and have been a Practitioner for over 20 years.
Children are all grown, left the nest, divorced in 2010, and now flying on my own at 62 and about to collect SS. (hahaha…taking it now, because I don’t know if it will be there if I wait till 65.

All that to say that I am happy for you as you live out your goals and dreams as I have. I
now travel the world, meet new people, lessen my carbon foot print on the earth, and live a modest life. All because I want to. And the best is yet to come!

I. Azibo

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retirebyforty April 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your SS. It sounds like you are enjoying life. That’s great and I hope I’ll get there someday.

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Michael June 9, 2013 at 11:25 am

This is so inspiring. I just signed up for your newsletter. Thanks and congratulations!

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andrea July 20, 2013 at 10:06 am

Hi, I like your recent Zite posting and the model where you quit working at 40/50/60 and don’t start drawing out your money until 65. That is the analysis I want to do. I am 53, want to think about “retiring” or not working from 55-65 and live on savings or part time work and tap our retirement savings and SS then. Your model helps me think about that!

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retirebyforty July 22, 2013 at 8:41 am

Good luck! You should try living with no paycheck now (or just part of your paycheck.)

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TheNewTBL August 11, 2013 at 8:38 pm

This is a great website! I recently semi-retired at age 39. I also took the approach of scaling down my expenses and creating residual income. I currently have some rental properties, but I am also trying to get into direct sales and writing ebooks. I like to think of this lifestyle as the new triple bottom line of sustainability. When we focus on the things that really make us happy in our lives, we naturally save money and improve our health while treading lighter on the planet.

http://peopleprofitpursuit.blogspot.com/

Kudos to you!

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retirebyforty August 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Good luck with the ebook. Looking forward to reading more on your blog.

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ZaVodou August 25, 2013 at 2:46 am

Hi Joe,

quote: “Head over to see my latest cash flow report and you will see that Mrs. RB40 will continue to work after I quit my day job”.

That reminds me of a movie scene from the Marx Brothers, where Groucho says: “Oh, I see us in our lovly home. You standing at the gate while I’m comming home from work or better I’m standing at the gate while you’re comming home from work.”

Regards
ZaVodou

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Eric October 21, 2013 at 4:36 am

Hello,
Just found your site thanks to a link on AOL. This interests me since I’m a SAHD as well. I’m a CPA and have been working seasonally (just tax season) for about 20 years now. Youngest child is a senior in high school, so the need for a SAHD is pretty much done, so it feels like transition time. To what? Wife has been working full time all along. We are 53. Similarities and differences here. Makes things interesting.

Anyway, looking forward to picking through your archives.

Eric

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retirebyforty October 21, 2013 at 8:58 am

Thanks for commenting! It’s great that you were able to pull that off. Good luck with your transition. I’m sure you can find something fulfilling to do with your time. Cheers.

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Abelardo Nery March 16, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Stumbled by this site when I was doing an NPV analysis on whether an MBA is worth it. I chose 40 as the end age since my main goal is to reach a million strictly by maximizing 401k contributions and the roth ira. I then googled to see if anyone ever came to the conclusion of 40 as well. In any case, really good site. Some of the articles you have are questions I often ask myself on what is the optimal choice. In any case, thx for sharing thoughts. I am sure you help countless people.

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frank zhu April 18, 2014 at 8:11 pm

I was actually reaching my 38 this year with 3 kids and I am really considering retiring and do something totally different. I have been working hard in the past 13 years in the pharmaceutical field and I think I have made enough to retire now but still not really feeling secure yet. I have 3.2k passive income from rent, 3.6k from dividend and my wife still working full-time. The problem is the dividend and rent can change due to vacancy and dividend cut when the market is bad. I think the reason I am considering quitting the job is because I prefer health over money. I mean my job is pretty depressing but not to a point that I have to quit. I can still work as long as I can, but I just don’t know when i will give-up . It’s very difficult to quit a job that I can make 5k per month after tax. Tough situation:(

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retirebyforty April 18, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Congratulation on your great passive income. If you can still handle your job, then you probably should put in a few more years. How about changing to a different company? That might improve things a bit. Good luck!

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Frank zhu April 19, 2014 at 8:46 am

Actually, I got my real estate license last year and I am trying open up my firm next year. Right now, I am not making much as a side job but it help me a lot when I deal with my own rental and sales. You should consider it too. It’s just another way to make money while you are full time dad.

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Financial independence May 12, 2014 at 12:38 am

For me the biggest risk in this would be not loosing ego or risk damaging one of the properties, etc.. but simply medical problem could wipe everything. After staying at home for a few years one becomes hardly employable. Do you consider this as a risk?

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Javier noperi May 14, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Thank you :)
That’s what my goal is to rely on myself with passive income instead of a job. I feel us society are brainwash by going to school, get a job. Save until your very old, retire, and die. That’s not me. I don’t want to go that route. I’m happy that you created a blog about it :)

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retirebyforty May 15, 2014 at 11:39 am

Good luck! We have many more choices these days. You can go to school and get a job or you can try to make it yourself.

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Kyle June 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm

43 laidoff. Unable to find a job for the last year in IT. Burned out on Corp Americas vision of american life. Trying to reinvent myself to be a happier me. I really enjoy being the at home dad, but having a hard time getting family to realize the time to save and stretch the dollars is now, when our income has been reduced to 40% of what it was. I’m not sure I will be able to or want to reenter Corp Americas vision of my life.

Good Luck to us all!!

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retirebyforty June 6, 2014 at 9:28 am

Good luck to you. I hope you can convince your family to support you. It’s not good to go through life stressed out all the time.

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Sunil July 18, 2014 at 1:17 pm

I am 41, but I don’t think I will be able to retire for another 15 years at least. Our net worth is 1.5 million and lot of it is tied to real estate. I have a pretty stable job working for a big corporation with the added advantage of working from home. That’s the next best thing after full retirement. I do my job adequately and try to stay under the radar. Even though I earn six figure salary, I could almost double my salary if were to be ambitious and go for a more high profile job. I am very uncomfortable at retiring with just 1.5 m considering we might end up living all the way into our 80s and 90s even. Luckily my spouse also works and has a 6 figure salary. But we have let some life style inflation creep into our lives. While we drive very modest cars, we do live in a McMansion in an upscale neighborhood with great schools (we have a 5 year old kid). We mostly cook at home except for friday night when we go to a fancy restaurant. We also like to travel and those vacations to France and Italy do not come cheap. After retirement we like to continue to travel all over the world. We could make do without the McMansion and plan to downsize as soon as our son moves out. But based on my calculation if we want to travel the way we do and perhaps help our son for college too, leaves me with a target of at least 8 million in net worth. That would probably take us anywhere from 15-20 years. While I like the idea of early retirement and am not particularly fond of my job (although I dont hate it), I feel that we would have to compromise too much by adopting a frugal life style with the risk of running out of money one day. I stumbled on your blog after reading comments on financial samurai’s blog and from now on will definitely follow your blog. Good luck!

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retirebyforty July 19, 2014 at 12:55 am

Good luck! It’s a long way to go to 8 million, but keep at it. Of course in 20 years, 8 millions won’t be worth as much so it’s a moving target. European vacations are definitely expensive. It’s tough to cut those out.

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Jon August 15, 2014 at 1:39 am

You might surprise yourself about the travel side of things. I had my own business for eight years, and when you can just browse through travel sites to find the flight and day that nobody else wants to pick (ie, not Friday evening), and plan your itinerary around shoulder seasons, it is really cheap. One time I flew London – Dubai – Hong Kong, which added about 6 extra hours in the air yet was half the price of a direct flight, and I got to look around Dubai for a day. Also when the promotions come up it is actually very easy to get them if you don’t have to check with bosses etc to get time off. Just book them up and figure the rest out later.

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Mindspring September 6, 2014 at 12:50 pm

When you are ill, would you go to a clinic or hospital that doesn’t even have doctors on staff and after the non-doctor sees you, the clinic or hospital send your patient record to an outside doctor for his/her signature? You would not, but in engineering people would.

Or worst yet, the clinic or hospital didn’t even send your record to an outside doctor for his/her signature, but instead cut and paste the doctor’s signature from a previous record.

My immediate past employer was a window cleaning safety equipment manufacturer in Canada. I quit my job when I discovered the company and our office manager were unethical and crooked.

I have since left engineering – after some 20+ years and saw enough craps like this. I am now a full-time stock trader – a skill I learned and sharpened over 20 + years along with my engineering career – and I am happier.

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Jez October 3, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Hey Jo! Love your blog and congratulations to you not only for having the courage to actually retire (even semi is good enough for me) but for your great planning. I know alot of people who keep telling me they’re going to retire in 2009. Then, 2011, then 2013. You get the picture but they just keep on wanting more and more money and in doing so, have forfeited X amount of years already. That aint’ livin

I (like you) see that life is incredibly precious and I also think that the modern social world has it wrong. Just because everyone else is working themselves into the ground, some not even making any financial progress at all certainly doesn’t mean you and I should be doing it too. In fact, I think we can see the complete opposite rings true.

I’m 34, and have just semi retired (yay, finally!) 10 years from start to finish and like so many others I still don’t feel I have “enough” but in reality, like your relatively small monthly income figures that grow with time mine are also growing with the rising tide. I average around $35,000 capital growth and $10,000 cashflow P/A ($14,000 cashflow & $65,000 growth if include our home in an investment sense if we travelled and rented our home with current low mortgage) and have around $180,000 in equity (investment rental house) and $240,000 equity in our home. so the thing that has allowed me to semi retire is: Our invested gross asset base grows at more than we spend each year and the rental income provides us cashflow (it hasn’t always been this way, took 8 years with multiple properties and then selling some to pay others off which allowed the rental income) If we never used any of that growing capital as income over the next X amount of years, we get to spend more later. That’s for us to decide at the time (which is the definition of freedom, what we set out to achieve 10 years ago)

We have a few years living expenses saved as cash and I still do a few days work a week when I want to and that keeps us from using any of our investment income so it stockpiles and grows over time.

In saying that, we’ve retired on a ‘small’ but growing wage. Most actual retirees over age 67 also have only a ‘small’ income too. What’s the difference? About 35 years.

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retirebyforty October 4, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Congratulation! Enjoy your semi retirement. You’re working to live and not the other way around. Time flies so we need to enjoy life while we can.

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