How Not to Retire in Your 30’s and 40’s

What life is like for the majority of people

“person lying on lounge chair facing at the swimming pool” by Ricardo Richter on Unsplash

I’ve just started using Pocket and what has been nice is the variety of articles it shows me. I would not normally read articles from Forbes or Business Insider, or the like, but this click bait title hooked me for some reason.

If you read the Reddit commentary on this article you will see that people are focusing on the actual numbers being thrown around in the article. It’s good to get into the weeds sometimes to make sure the details add up correctly. So, kudos for the redditors for taking that angle.

My main takeaway from this article is that if you’re already rich, or your family is rich, then you actually have the opportunity to retire early. The rest of us have to grapple with working until the point when we kick the bucket.

So, besides the fact that you need to start off from a good position financially you also need to be lucky. Not lucky in the sense that you will win the lottery, but lucky in the sense that you don’t get hit with big bills from some accident or medical condition. Or even having friends and family that can support you in various ways. These people interviewed for this article check all those boxes for being lucky.

Lets start off with their finances. All the interviewers make over $100k a year (some by themselves, others as part of a couple). Yes austerity living is still needed up to a point to make retiring early work, but I find it’s easier to save money when you have a lot extra after bills and debts are taken care of. Like the one interviewee who want to live off of $80k a year in retirement. One can live very comfortably off of $80k a year. Its harder to pull off that amount of retirement money when you make $45k a year (average yearly wage for Americans).

Family and friends can also make it easier to save up money quickly for retirement. The first interviewee lived with his in-laws and so a lot of bills were non-existent for them. They were also lucky enough to work close to home so they could easily cut out one car and all the expenses that come with it.

Lastly, you can easily save money if you don’t run into any major medical expenses. That $100k+ you can save up for retirement or whatever can be wiped out from one big medical issue or lots of little medical issues that add up over the long haul. So, as long as you and your family stay healthy for 20 or more years you will be fine.

Having a large salary can help shield you from being financially ruined if life circumstances took a turn for the worse. For most people who work in the U.S. there isn’t a huge salary safety net. This is a reason why Medicare For All or Universal Healthcare is an important topic for a lot of Americans because one illness can wipe out everything a person has saved up until that point.

Retiring in your 30’s and 40’s is only for a select few. If you are one of the lucky ones congratulations! If your like me, I hope you can save as much as you can and hope that Social Security is still there to help out when you retire. If you are able to retire when that time comes. If there is even Social Security when you’re ready to retire.

I write about technology, faith, and a smattering of other subjects.

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