Could your 40s be the new 60s?
It is for these people – but in a good way.
Todd and Julie (married 40-somethings), Teresa and Russell (same again) and Jason Fieber (not yet 40) are all leading the way in showing us how early retirement is actually possible. By that we don't just mean a few years of jobless bliss – all of them did it, or plan to do it, a full couple of decades before the official retirement age. Unlike the trend of people retiring in reverse, these ones plan to leave the daily grind behind for good. Here's how:
Todd and Julie
Their story was covered by Money Magazine a few years ago and remains a great example of how planning and motivation can make seemingly impossible superannuation goals possible.
The couple planned to retire young right from the get go, knowing this is what they wanted for their future from the day they got married. When Todd turned 44, and Julie turned 40, the couple made it happen.
After more than two decades working in the Air Force – each – both of them were able to put down the uniform one last time. By this stage, the pair had saved US$400,000 for retirement – which, based on their current lifestyle and the one they wish to have in the future, should last them a good, long time. That said, the now-retired couple "watch every penny", avoiding lavish indulgences or things they don't really need.
While they're not exactly touring the world on their savings, there's a lot to be said about Todd and Julie's story and how creating a goal and working towards it can, and does, work.
Teresa and Russell
This couple spoke to Yahoo's Anne Copley about how they both managed to retire at 46.
Now in their mid-50s, Teresa and Russell helped their youngest child to finish studying before putting everything aside to seriously save for retirement. After four years of intense saving, they up and left their city jobs for a cosy cabin in the mountains. Up until then, Russell had worked as a high school teacher, and Teresa was an office manager.
Funnily enough, the couple also stowed away US$400,000 to retire on. From the time they were 18 they saved anything they could, slowly increasing their monthly deposits each year and taking advantage of compounding interest. They've also used certificates of deposit (essentially a term deposit) to make their savings work for them.
Jason hasn't quite made it to retirement yet, but he does have a clear plan. At the age of 30, he decided to spend just 10 more years in the workforce before retiring.
Jason currently earns $50,000 a year, but by setting aside 60 per cent of this he has already racked up a savings account of more than $100,000 in three years. With a frugal savings plan that he intends to continue through to retirement, Mr Fieber plans to save more than US$400,000.
Want to figure out how he's doing it? This social-media savvy saver takes all his tips to Twitter, sharing articles and ideas from other financial gurus and keeping followers up to date on his progress.
And what can we learn from Mr Fieber? If you're happy to leave luxuries to everyone else and live simply, then you can save a lot more than you might think. Whether that lifestyle is right for you, only you can decide.
Here in Australia, many people seem to be managing to retire earlier than at the retirement age of 65, according to 2013 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. At the time of the survey, of those who had retired in the previous five years, the average age for men was 63.3, and just 59.6 for women. Yet on the other hand, the survey also showed that one in five Australian workers were planning to retire at the age of 70 – or older.
Do you think you have what it takes to retire in your 40s?