I took this picture on my way to work a couple of weeks ago – Early Retirement would mean not going to work when it’s cold and snowing – I mean, I live in Texas!!!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about early retirement. Mr Money Mustache paints an amazing picture of early retirement and while I don’t envision mine will be exactly the same, I do envy his freedom. At this point in our lives, Mrs AB and I have been able to put away almost $200k… which definitely isn’t enough to retire early with.
I make a good income, but in my industry the income curve is definitely exponential. I expect that if I keep working like I am now, I could increase my income by 50% in the next 5 years and double it within 10. The only problem with that scenario is that I would need to work another 10+ years in a job that I don’t exactly “love” to receive the benefit of that extra money… boo!!!
The Job Issue
My wife and I were talking about my job the other day and I told her that I’ve come to a sort of understanding with work, where I don’t love it, but due to the benefits (salary, vacation, other perks) I don’t hate it. Is it my dream job? Definitely not, but it allows us to lead an amazing life while still saving a pretty good amount (when you add in my wife’s income). A couple of weeks ago marked my two year anniversary with my current job – which is a pretty significant milestone. In addition to the extra vacation and vesting in the company retirement plan, it also means that I’m closer to being promoted which brings the extra salary and bonuses I spoke about earlier.
As I’ve written about previously, I’ve applied for and been offered other jobs. In addition to the job I wrote about, I have received one formal offer and one verbal offer in my two years. In each of these cases, my wife and I determined that staying put would be the best option in the long run.
And to be honest, that’s how I view early retirement – I’m in it for the long term, so I have to be smart about how I approach it. While I’d love to quit my job today and never go back to “work” I know that’s not possible. I need to build up my savings, alternate income sources (including passive and active income sources), and then determine what I’m going to do once I’m retired. Alternatively, I could find another (lower paying) job and work there for a longer period of time, but that would seriously delay my early retirement and force me to work longer… no thanks!
I’ve run the numbers several ways, and I think at this point my plan is to work at my current company (or at least in the same industry) until we have enough to comfortably retire early. Of course, things aren’t as simple as that. My wife will hopefully be going back to school this fall to get her PhD! It will be a 3ish year process, but when she’s done the goal is to become a full time professor. If Google and Wikipedia are to be believed, the median salary for a professor can range from $60-100k! So once my wife has completed her PhD and found a steady job I may be able to get out of the rat race and work full time on my online ventures! Until then we will continue to save and invest as much as possible so that her future income can hopefully be used just for fun money or to increase our savings instead of being needed to pay for daily expenses.
All of this is just a thought at this point, but in order to achieve financial independence and early retirement, you have to have goals in mind. If not, how do you expect to reach them? My plan is pretty simple:
- Work for the next 10-12 years and save like crazy
- Retire early and enjoy life!
My alternate plan is to work for 5ish years and then depending on my wife’s salary and my own career enjoyment, retire or cut back at that point. While the plan may change, it’s good to at least have a plan!
Do you dream of early retirement? If so, what is it? I’d love to hear what your plan is!