Retiring by the age of 40 might seem like an unattainable dream. However, there is an elite group of retirees who have been able to make sacrifices early in their careers to step away from the workforce in their 40s.
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Interested in getting your feet up and leaving the workforce early? If so, read on to meet two early retirees who can shed some light on what they’ve done to enjoy a jobless future.
Meet John Frigo
Before the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement was a popular trend, John Frigo was already planning early retirement.
“In the late 1920s, I started an e-commerce business and ran it alongside a full-time job for a few years. Eventually, I quit my job and ran the business full time for a number of years before selling [it] and he retired, “said Frigo, Best Price Nutrition’s e-commerce manager.” I would consider my retirement Lean FIRE, as I had my retirement accounts fully funded and enough to live on as long as I was frugal. “
What Frigo refers to – “Lean FIRE” – is just one way to classify early retirement. Lean FIRE means you plan to have enough to retire early, but not enough to finance a luxurious lifestyle through retirement. But there are other ways to plan for early retirement, including Fat FIRE (the opposite of Lean FIRE), Slow FIRE, Barista FIRE, and more.
While Frigo has achieved this impressive goal, it warns people that as tempting as it is to retire by age 40, it can also be lonely. He has since returned to work due to boredom.
Here are Frigo’s tips for retiring at 40
There are some important money-saving moves that you should be aware of if you are looking to retire early.
Save as much as possible
Frigo recommends reducing expenses and trying to live as frugally as possible to save as much as possible.
“I’ve saved more than half of my salary and invested, which wasn’t that hard for me as I’m naturally quite frugal and material things aren’t very attractive to me,” Frigo said. “I don’t like clothes or cars and I don’t have expensive hobbies – my only real expenses outside of daily living expenses would be casual meals and travel.”
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Cut out the expenses you don’t like
Frigo also advises you to avoid comparing your expenses with those around you and to reduce expenses that do not interest you.
“Understand what things you spend money on that make you happy or value you, and don’t be afraid to spend in those areas,” he said. “FIRE is not about taking all the fun out of life and not spending money. But [it is about] find things in your life that you spend money on without thinking you don’t even like them. If you don’t care about cars, don’t buy a BMW, buy a Hyundai. If you don’t care about clothes, don’t shop at Nieman Marcus, shop at Old Navy. Mercilessly cuts into areas that don’t give you value so you can save and invest that money. “
Meet Jon Callahan
Jon Callahan recently retired shortly after his 40th birthday and is now focused solely on his retired side hustle, a pickleball website called Picklevine. Callahan was able to retire early by creating websites.
“Building income-generating websites is the means by which I was able to retire from full-time paid work at the age I did,” he said. “I started building revenue-generating web properties at the right time, before the space was flooded with competition. So I was very lucky in this regard and it offered me an incredibly blessed life. I still run passion project websites as part of a small portfolio, but my 8am days start with a suit and tie are behind me. “
Here is Callahan’s advice for retiring at 40
Who is better to learn from than someone who retired at 40? Find out what Callahan recommends for those interested in retiring early.
Reinvest in what works well
Callahan advises savers to consider reinvesting to increase their savings and contribute more to retirement.
“I reinvested in what worked well, or maybe that’s best expressed as a double,” Callahan said. “First I created a website that earned decent income and allowed me to quit my job. Over the next several years, I built many more websites and slowly moved into a retirement position. I separated my receipts into plates and set a goal I needed before I could withdraw. This step alone was what allowed me to make my dream come true ”.
So, if you’re making more money from your side job than your full-time job, consider quitting your full-time job and spending more time on your side job. If some areas of your investment portfolio are doing much better than others, maybe it’s time to readjust. You want to understand what makes your income thrive best.
Stay on course through the ups and downs
Retiring early is no easy feat. One of the biggest challenges people often face is staying on course in difficult times. Callahan reminds people that it’s important to ride the ups and downs and stay on course to achieve your goal.
“Keep grinding and don’t be afraid to take risks, test, try and make mistakes, make mistakes, learn and grow,” Callahan said. “This is what takes you to paths you may never have thought of, and essentially what enabled me to reach retirement at such a young age.”
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Do you want to retire by age 40? Here’s how these people did it
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