A millennial’s guide to early retirement

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Introduction

Who doesn’t love the idea of retirement? A life with no deadlines, meetings, commutes, or limited vacation days sounds heavenly to the North American population that is overworked, stressed, and chronically indebted; but, sadly for most, it will be decades before such freedom is possible. Most people work until their late 60s or early 70s in order to fund their lifestyle in retirement, but unfortunately this often corresponds with a decline in physical health that makes it difficult to enjoy their new free time and money.

There is another way to approach retirement, however, and that is the unorthodox notion of early retirement. A small but growing segment of the millennial population in North America is buzzing on the Internet about a movement called “financial independence,” or FI, as it’s called. The Simple Dollar defines FI as “having enough money to survive without further income.” Perhaps you’ve saved enough, or you’ve got passive income flows, or your living costs are so minimal that you can get without needing to show up at work every day; whatever it is, you’re self-sufficient.

This idea intrigues me greatly. For years, my husband and I have read FI blogs out of curiosity, thinking they could help us invest more wisely and be more frugal, but only recently has it actually occurred to us that we could do this – retire young. We could rebel against the system and not wait around for Hubby to get a full pension at the end of his career, choosing instead to step out of the professional rat race when we reach a point of self-sufficiency. (As a writer, I’m content to continue working until the day I die.) While our retirement plan is still in its early stages, there are some key concepts we’ve embraced, which I’ll outline in the following slideshow.

(Many of our ideas come from a Canadian finance blog called “The Greater Fool,” written by Garth Turner, as well as Tony Robbins’ book, “Money: Master the Game.” As for blogs, I love reading Mr. Money Mustache, Our Next Life, and Cait Flanders.)

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