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Retiring at 40 may seem like an unattainable dream. However, there is an elite group of retirees who were able to make sacrifices early in their careers in order to get out of the workforce in their 40s.
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Are you interested in kicking and leaving the job market early? If so, read on to meet two young retirees who can tell you what they did to enjoy a jobless future.
Meet John Frigo
Before the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement became a popular trend, John Frigo was already planning an early retirement.
“In my late twenties, 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 from full time for several years before selling [it] and retirement,” said Frigo, e-commerce manager at Best Price Nutrition. “I would consider my Lean FIRE retirement because my retirement accounts were fully funded and enough to live on as long as I was frugal.”
What Frigo refers to – “Lean FIRE” – is just one way to categorize early retirement. Lean FIRE means you plan to have enough to retire early, but not enough to fund a luxurious lifestyle until 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.
Although Frigo has achieved this impressive goal, he warns people that as attractive as retiring at 40 is, it can also be lonely. He has since returned to work out of boredom.
Here are Frigo’s tips for retiring in your 40s
There are some important money-saving measures you should be aware of if you’re trying to retire early.
Save as much as possible
Frigo advises to cut expenses and try to live as frugally as possible in order to save as much as possible.
“I saved more than half of my salary and invested, which for me wasn’t that hard because I’m naturally quite thrifty and material things aren’t really appealing to me,” Frigo said. . “I don’t like clothes or cars and I don’t really have any expensive hobbies – my only real expenses aside from day-to-day living expenses would be a good meal and occasional trips.”
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Eliminate expenses you don’t like
Frigo also recommends avoiding comparing your expenses to those around you and cutting back on expenses that don’t interest you.
“Identify the things you spend money on that make you happy or bring you value, 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 mindlessly spend money on and don’t even appreciate. 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. Cut ruthlessly in areas that don’t bring you value so you can save and invest that money.
Meet Jon Callahan
Jon Callahan retired shortly after his 40th birthday and now focuses solely on his retirement business, a pickleball website called Picklevine. Callahan was able to retire early building websites.
“Creating income-generating websites is how I was able to retire from full-time paid work at the age I was,” he said. “I started creating income generating web properties at the right time, before the space was flooded with competition. So I was very lucky in that regard and it gave me an incredibly blessed life. I still runs hobby project websites as part of a small portfolio, but my 8am days starting with a suit and tie are long behind me.
Here are Callahan’s tips for retiring in your 40s
Who better to learn from than someone who retired in their 40s themselves? Find out what Callahan advises people interested in retiring early.
Reinvest in what works well
Callahan advises savers to consider reinvesting in order to grow their savings and contribute more to their retirement.
“I reinvested in what was working well – or maybe it would be better to double down,” Callahan said. “I first built a website which made a decent income and allowed me to quit my job. Over the next few years I created many other websites and slowly retired I separated my income into pots and set myself a goal that I needed before I could retire, and that step alone made my dream come true.
So if you make more money from your side hustle than your full-time job, consider quitting full-time work and spending more time on your side hustle. If some areas of your investment portfolio are performing much better than others, it may be time to readjust. You want to figure out what makes your income grow.
Stay the course through the ups and downs
Retiring early is no easy feat. One of the biggest challenges people often face is staying the course through tough times. Callahan reminds people of the importance of overcoming the ups and downs and staying the course in order to achieve your goal.
“Keep working and don’t be afraid to take risks, to test, to try and fail, to make mistakes, to learn and to grow,” Callahan said. “It’s what takes you down paths you might never have thought of, and essentially what allowed me to reach retirement at such a young age.”
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