Sunday, January 3, 2010

Best Retire Young ? How possible is it ?

Is it best retire young? Have you ever heard some people retire early at their 30s ? Do you think they got lucky or they must have own some businesses to become rich before they can retire ? Here are the stories of 2 persons who retired at their mid 30s and they only have worked for other people before.

( due to consent issues, the figures are generalized just to illustrate the concept )

They started working at their early 20s with starting salaries of $1,800 to $2,000. After more than 8 years of working, their monthly income were more than $6,000 and then it didn't increase any much further after that. Usually the salary big jump occurred during career move and they have changed career once or twice. Together with bonuses, they have earned a total of $800,000 in total after 12-15 years of working.

Through out those time, they have saved aside a total of $175,000. Initially they save their money in fix deposit getting about 2-3% return but very soon they move on the mutual fund and stock market. Over the years, their average return is 6.3%. So when they retire, their savings are more than $260,000.

Their monthly expenses is about $1,000 and their personal inflation rate for their life style is 2.8%. So with this saving alone, it can last them until age 75.

They also have an EPF ( like 401K ) that is more than $100,000 at their mid 30s. When they can withdraw it at their 55, they should get at least $200,000. With this, they will still have a $500,000 balance when they are 100 years old. Of course they don't plan to live that long but this is their surplus money.

At the time they retired, they also have a home and a vehicle that are already fully paid off. The property was worth $100,000. They ended up paying about $120,000 for it with their 10 years loan. Conservatively this property is expected to worth more than $200,000 when they are 60 years old, just in case and in time for them to enter old folks home where care and friends are around.

The first few years they retired, they literary sit around doing nothing. But very soon they got bored and started interacting with they industry they are used to. From time to time, they provide freelance consultancy to their friends and earn some extra income too, ie. $10,000 to $20,000 a year sometimes. With these incidental incomes, it pushes their 100-year-old left over to $3 millions !!

They may have lived frugally all along but they are enjoying life the luxury way more often now. They don't run any business, they didn't get any lucky in their investments but they must have been good at their jobs because someone actually paid for their services after they retired. But then again, a $10,000 yearly consultancy fee doesn't sound like a real consultancy at all, its more like a very small incidental assistance in one small project only. On the other hand, a $6,000 salary employee is a good employee but its no where near CxO positions neither. So there can be many good employees, this is not one of those only-one-man-scenario.

Some of the keys to their early retirement would be;
  • Save First
  • Live frugally first
  • learn to invest
  • bought a motorcycle - just to get around
  • bought a small apartment - just enough for him and his visiting friends
There is really no trick here. If there has to be one, they are singles. Some of them may be married but with no dependencies, meaning no need to take care of parent and no kids.

It is really not that hard to retire young.

One last key difference between young retirees and others, their hobbies do not cost them money. As a matter of fact, some other young retirees actually make their hobbies their life time businesses after they retired.


Ian Kree said...


Is this a true story or a fiction-to tell the possibility?


Mt. said...

True stories. There are also an increasing number of young retirees nowadays.

Mt. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ian Kree said...

Thank you, good to know that. I like this posting. I am going to write a blog posting on this & give a backlink to this posting. Will let you know the URL to my posting.

Mt. said...

let me know if you need more details in figures, perhaps you can get more insights from those. private share only.

TheCurious said...

The BIGGEST trick is : no need to take care of parent(s) and no kids !

That's only why it is possible ! :p

Mt. said...

yes you get it right! but its not the 'only' way, its just one of the ways ... don't forget there is a Gabriel story.

sengkean said...

Hey Michael Tsen, could you please send me more details in figures?

Retired in 30's without considering parents' and kids' future is just a piece of cake. If want to taking in account both of those? Possible? Fairy tales? :)

Mt. said...

would love to hear the story of your piece of cake one day :)

For retirement with dependents, check out this link

There is also a Gabriel Pang's story. Pay attention that is a 3 parts stories at the bottom links.

Hope this helps. said...

Thanks for sharing this story. But does it really true.