Dreaming of Early Retirement

by AB@AspiringBlogger.com

Early Retirement means not going to work in these conditions!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!

The Plan

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:

  1. Work for the next 10-12 years and save like crazy
  2. 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!


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris @ Stumble Forward January 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

I would have to agree with you AB my job is OK but I don’t love it by any means. However it does give me some great perks such as extra time off and breaks were I can work other things such as my website. These are perks I know I wouldn’t get anywhere else. So in that respect I decided to follow a pretty similar plan as you are.

Currently I’m 32 and my goal is to retire at 50, or at least semi retire and run my online businesses on the side. That’s still 18 years away but I find that I can have all my debts in order an a significant amount of cash stashed away by this point to embark on my retirement journey.

As for your goals that sounds awesome, a lot of people don’t get the chance that you have and it’s great to see someone achieving their dreams


Brett @ wstreetstocks January 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Good luck with your goals. Good to see that your wife is trying to get a doctorate. That would be quite an accomplishment. Being a professor can certainly be a rewarding career.


Jon M January 23, 2013 at 9:02 am

It’s tough to find the right mix of fulfillment and freedom in a job. I love my job but I won’t get rich doing it. We are comfortable and well provided for. I had always pictured trying to retire early, but that has changed now that we have children. I would rather work later into my life…say 60 or 65…and enjoy more time with my young children now. We have also shifted some funds away from retirement and towards our goal of living abroad for an extended period of time while our children are young.

I didn’t know you were in Texas too. We’re definitely enjoying some different weather than when you took the photo in your post. Looking forward to heading home early today to play outside with the kids.

One thing is for sure. It is nice to have a spouse who is in a good career field where there can be flexibility in ‘the plan.’ Sounds like you will have some great options when your wife completes her PhD.

Thanks for the great and inspiring read!


AB@AspiringBlogger.com January 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Chris – Thanks for the kind words and good luck with your goals! I think that at the rate you’re going, you may look up before 50 and realize that you can retire sooner – let’s hope so anyway!

Brett – Thanks for the comment, we’ll find out soon if she gets accepted to the PhD program, fingers crossed!

Jon – Thanks for the visit! Being flexible is definitely part of “the plan”, as you’re well aware! As my wife and I don’t have children, I’m fine working more right now to save as much as possible so that we can slow down in a few years and maybe find more of a balance. You’re right – it was snowing last week, and today it was in the mid 70’s…this weather keeps things interesting!


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