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Ah... retirement.
I could spend every day just like this, relaxing, playing golf, spending time with family.
But, like most of you, I can't retire right now or really anytime soon.
Even if we can't retire right now, there are more than a few people who made their early retirement dreams come true, no lottery ticket or well-timed crypto investment required.
Those people are part of a community called FIRE.
That's Financial Independence Retire Early.
FIRE devotees combine high savings rates, minimalist living and investing with low cost index funds to reach retirement in relatively short periods of time.
I talked to a guy named Bryce Leung who, along with his wife, Christie, retired in their early 30s and never looked back.
We were given the same first prescriptive script that our parents gave us for how to live.
Get a job, buy a house, go into debt, go get a mortgage, spend the next 25 years it paying off and then maybe, when you're 65, then you can retire with a pension.
The old rule book that they played with simply doesn't apply for (to) us anymore.
How long was your journey once you began?
Nine years after we started working we retired.
My wife was 31, I was 32 at the time, and we said goodbye to our jobs forever and we've been traveling ever since.
It's actually based, not on your age, but how much money you have saved up versus how much money you need to spend to maintain your lifestyle.
The rule that we use in the FIRE community is called the 4% Rule.
How much you have saved up versus how much that you need to spend.
If it's 4% of it, then you can retire safely and never need to work again.
Why is that number 4%?
In an academic study called The Trinity Study, in which they back tested all of the stock market history going back hundreds of years, 4% is the amount that it's safe to withdrawal in that you won't run out of money over a traditional retirement period.
How did you change your lifestyles so that you would live more frugally?
It was not so much a sacrifice of lifestyle that got us here.
It was avoiding the landmines that so many people step on.
The commonly accepted personal finance thing of, you have to cut back until it's painful, no going out, no eating out and no drinking coffees, and this kind of stuff.
We didn't do any of that kind of stuff because the biggest line item in a person's life is housing, transportation and food.
If you get those three right then the rest of it almost doesn't even matter.
But even if you can't retire at 31 like Bryce did, there might still be some alterations to your savings or spending that you can make to retire at a more traditional age.
Bloomberg reporter, Suzanne Woolley, is going to tell us how to plan for that more traditional retirement and the annoyances that we must overcome to get there.
Should people be scared about retiring?
Isn't everyone scared about retiring?
It's this so big a prospect.
It's also uncertain.
Yeah.
And I think people get terrified by the idea of, what is my number?
Do I need a million?
Do I need 2 million?
Who knows?
And I think that can put people into paralysis.
A lot of people don't even know how much they spend each month.
Just knowing what your budget is gives you a sense of what you need to live on.
What mistakes are people making as they plan for retirement?
One mistake people might make is not planning for contingencies.
You have a point when you want to retire.
Like some people say, oh I want to retire when I'm 62 or 65.
Well great.
But, life might not go your way.
You might be laid off, there might be some sort of ageism.
You might get sick and not be able to work.
So it's, when you're retirement planning (planning retirement), you need to think through, how would I live if I was laid off five years earlier than I anticipated?
And also, you need to have some sort of emergency fund, maybe buckets.
One is for short term and it's just cash, like a year's living expenses, if you can do that.
The middle one is maybe in bonds and short term investments.
And the other part can be aggressive.
The other bucket is more aggressive, really long term, like 10 or 20 years.
So if you want to get your FIRE dream started, go ahead and make it happen.
As for me, I'm going to do this for a few more hours, then get back to work.
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How to Retire Early...Or Ever

229 Folder Collection
April Lu published on June 26, 2019    April Lu translated    Winnie Liao reviewed
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