How A Couple Of 'Frugal Weirdos' Are Saving 71% Of Their Income So They Can Retire At Age 33

Found this article on Forbes today about how a young couple save 71% of their income and plan to retire at 33.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurengensler/2015/08/04/frugalw...

Comments

  • Awesome stuff. Since I've been researching FIRE heavily on Reddit I had a new lease on life. Now see the opportunity cost of spending is time which is something I can never get back.

  • Cool. I would like to see a follow up story when they're 50. Don't mean to be sadistic but my guess is they will lose their savings due to market forces or they will die early, unless they take up some kind of volunteering, work, investing or pursuit that they can work towards.

  • In the same vein:

    http://www.watoday.com.au/money/saving/a-cashless-economy-wh...

    @inherentchoice - why do you think you will lose their savings or die early? If anything not working in a cubicle farm will probably lengthen your life and frugality teaches you not to spend unwisely.

    • I could be wrong of course. I just feel like if someone retires that early but stops making any contributions to society then the meaninglessness of pursuing pleasure and self-wants will catch up with them and cause them to change their outlook on life and do philanthropic or paid work again. Or else they will be forced to go back into the workforce because the economy nose-dives. Or else death will claim them first and someone else will get to spend all their hard earned money.

      But if they continue their blog and people keep reading it then that will be a meaningful contribution. On second thoughts they will probably write a book about retiring early and participate in some kind of speaking circuit. But in that case they should perhaps be considered only semi-retired.

      I really admire people who can retire but choose to continue working as they find satisfaction in it. Personally I can't retire yet but I'm very grateful that I enjoy my work.

      I am also saying this based on my spiritual beliefs, including Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 & 3:13 and Mark 12:31.

      • Yes a lot of people don't enjoy their work and would rather be doing something they want than contributing to society. I take that as simply being a cog in the wheel. Life will go on without you and we are all replaceable so there is no need to do something than makes you unhappy if you have other options in life because our time here is short.

      • meaninglessness of pursuing pleasure and self-wants will catch up with them and cause them to change their outlook on life and do philanthropic or paid work again

        How do you know for sure their retired life will be meaningless? Maybe they intend to do something meaningful. Even if they just live off the land they will be treading lightly on the earth.

        In fact for some people it might be said that their work is negatively contributing to society so not all work is useful.

        • Well I was looking at it from the perspective that all paid work is being done for at least one other person. Therefore it's still a kind of contribution even if it is arguably something that is causing harm to others or ultimately the environment.

          I don't know that their retirement will be meaningless. I am saying that there is meaninglessness in perpetually pursuing pleasure and self-wants. But if they're not pursuing something that benefits others then my guess is they will either encounter that meaninglessness or else death or significant financial loss will catch up with them first.

        • @inherentchoice: But I mean you persist with these assumptions: 1. Paid work = productive member of society. 2. Not doing something directly for others = meaningless life.

          Counterexamples, plenty more:

          1. Volunteers, unpaid care givers, home makers.

          2. Thinkers who advance the frontiers of knowledge in general, even though that knowledge may be of little use right now, and they were just having fun thinking. Artists who create works that make us reflect and rethink, again they were just doing it because they felt like it.

  • I know someone who retired about 37 and has not worked since, he is now 70! And quite healthy and busy. So it can be done. I did not read the article but had to chime in and I really do not fully know how he did it but it was all legal — and he worked his arse off before he retired, sometimes 2 jobs at a time.

    • What has he been up to the last 33 years?

      • raised his kids for about 18 of those years, 5 of them. Golf, golf and more golf much of the rest of the time. Not sure what else he did… He was very frugal with his money all his life so money was never much of a concern.

  • Doesn't everyone love working, can't imagine ever retiring and want to go until they drop dead? That's what I keep reading in the papers.

    You would need a big nest egg to retire at 33 unless you're on a parliamentary pension. But this couple are still going to work part time.

  • The key take home from that piece is to start with high incomes, but live a modest life and devote the rest to savings.
    Some of the things the article highlights as remarkable savings (drive an old car, go out to dinner infrequently!) say more to me about the ridiculous levels of consumption we have become accustomed to in western societies.
    And they don't look to be living too frugally. If they simply rented out their house right now, they anticipate $24,000 p.a. after mortgage expenses. The median income in the USA is $26,695, so they already have a viable income stream in place (source: http://www.mybudget360.com/how-much-do-americans-earn-what-i...).
    Good on them for keeping their priorities on living well rather than accumulating dollars, and I hope they succeed.

  • I'm already doing it with a twist. Stick with a part time position you like, any part time position, around 20-25hrs depending on the job and $$$. Gut any spending and equalize with said job. Look at the free time you'll actually get instead of marching forward week after 38hr week to the grave in a stuffy cubicle. Less is more. What is all that money doing anyway? Spending it on SHINY SHINY rubbish you want but don't need.

  • I think the article missed the point about what this couple are trying to do. Live with what they really want and do what they really want. If you read their blog it makes more sense.
    http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/08/10/strategic-luxury-the-d...

    •  

      true. they, like some here, have stepped back from a consumerist trance and sought what is true and valuable in their lives.