How to gain financial independence and enjoy a very early retirement

They lowered their Internet speed, and found they didn’t notice a difference.

“We were paying more money for no reason,” he said. His wife cancelled her gym membership, but soon regretted it. “After a few months, she was like, ‘I want to go back to my spin class,'” he said. So, she did.

“To us, it’s an experiment in going out of our comfort zone,” he said.

After five years, at 34, he was able to leave his job. He now spends his days blogging about his financial journey, and working on a book about FIRE. He also writes music.

“None of it needs to produce any profit,” he said. “I can just enjoy [life] and work at my own pace.”

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His wife still works, though he said he’s trying to get her to quit and join FIRE with him. For now, he uses her health insurance but when she retires they’ll switch to an Affordable Care Act subsidy.

They don’t have children, but they did include a line item in their budget for college costs one day.

“If we decide not to have kids, then that just becomes extra safety margin for ourselves,” he said.

His directions to FIRE: Save at least half of your income, until your savings are 25 times your annual expenses. He said this should take 10 to 15 years for most people.

Make sure those savings are invested in low-cost, passive total stock market funds. Quit your job (only if you’re ready) and then withdraw 4 percent of your portfolio per year, forever.

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