The average retirement age in the US is 62.
One Cambridge, Massachusetts couple hopes to cut that age nearly in half and retreat to a rural homestead in Vermont by age 33.
It’s an ambitious, but doable, goal that “The Frugalwoods” — a software engineer and a communications manager who chose not not to use their real names on their eponymous website — set out to achieve in early 2014.
That is, if they save over two-thirds of their income.
They plan to put away 71% of their take-home pay in order to retire by 2017, Forbes reports.
While this seems remarkably high, the Frugalwoods claim it’s more than possible with diligent research, a certain level of tenacity, and the dedication to optimizing expenses. They also did not have student loan, car loan, or credit card debt, which helps make their plan possible.
“We’ve always lived well below our means,” they write in their blog, which they started in 2014 to document this accelerated retirement plan.
“Without breaking a sweat, we were saving 65% of our take-home pay and never had a dime of debt other than our mortgage. Now that we’re focused and our frugality is in full force, we saved 71% (after 401K contributions) in 2014. This is what early retirement extreme is all about.”
To give you an idea of their definition of optimizing expenses, they spent just $13,000 over the course of 2014 (sans mortgage).
They advise others to change the way they think about spending: “Don’t unconsciously mimic the spending habits of those around you,” the Frugalwoods write. “There’s no reason to approach the world as a consumer. Your goal in life shouldn’t be to buy things. Spending money is the easy way out. It doesn’t require creativity, ingenuity or adventure. In a word, it’s boring.”
They’re “frugal weirdos,” they admit on their blog, but it’s setting them up for a future out of their artificially lit cubicles.
More from Business Insider:
- A couple planning to retire at age 33 explain how much money they have to save
- Here’s how much you need to earn to live comfortably in 15 major US cities while still saving money
- 15 things you can stop wasting your money on
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- The incredibly simple way I’m saving $100 a month on coffee