Wow all these years on QT3 and I never saw this thread.
I retired in 1999 at 39 and moved to Hawaii. Hawaii housing prices are actually lower than Bay Area, although other stuff isn’t. I’ll be be the first to admit that my early retirement was due to primarily to luck (Intel stock options). But I’m confident that I would have been able to pull the plug by 50 even without stock options, just a good salary from Silicon Valley tech companies.
I spent much of my first years retirement researching the heck out of retirement finance and living. I’ve probably looked at dozen retirement forums over the years. I can highly recommend two.
For those of you over 40. www.early-retirement.org Although the focus is on early retirement there plenty of folks who retired at regular age 65 or are planning on it.
The most beneficial thing about the forum is that you can go on there and post.
Hey I’m Joe I’m 40, my wife and I make $125K, we have 300K in 401K, in the following mutual funds.
Our house is worth X with $2200/month mortgage, we have a ten year old, who I’m sure will go to college. I’d like to retire between 55-65.
The first question you’ll get is how much to do you expect to spend in retirement. I can’t stress how important it is to figure that out. The correct answer isn’t a number it is a range.
Then a number of people on the forum will spend a fair amount of time (at I’ve times I’ve spent an entire afternoon analyzing internet strangers finances) running retirement calculators and looking at Morningstar X-ray portfolio tools to give you an assessment on how realistic your retirement goals are. A surprising amount of time for folks in the 50s the answer is you could retire now.
While most of the folks on the forum are professionals like here who make good money. There are also people who retired in their 40s, in the SF Bay Area and never made more the 30K a year. I’m personally friends with a couple of teachers from Las Vegas who retired at 35, and currently traveling the world with their now two year-old girl.
It is also a good source of nuts and bolts information everything from how to maximize your ACA subsidy in retirement to the psychological what do I do all day. While folks in P&R were debating ACA, several folks on that forum (lawyers and doctors) were actually reading thousands pages of the law and trying understand what it meant.
For those of you who are younger. I’d suggest looking at https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/
This is run by couple who retired at 30 (although still making money from the website). The focus on this site is more cutting spending, but also a good source for how much and where to invest.
Some of my favorite saying from a Hawaiian tourist T-Shirt.
Two ways to be rich, earn more or desire less.
The best things in life aren’t things.
Mr MoneyMustache really drives home this point, too extreme at times for my taste. But as is typical, it is the site forums which are really valuable.