Earlyish Retirement at 59

The more I read about early retirement, money, personal finance, frugality and all the other related materials the more pumped I get. I keep thinking, well what’s the worst case scenario, even if I just keep making super small baby step progress..

My income is super low right now, compared to the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) crowd, and side hustles/part time work have been a bust. I’ve gained more knowledge in 6 months than I have in the last 29 years, but I haven’t applied much of it (other than paying more on minimum debts and knowing my net worth).

I admit. I’ve gotten lazy. Taking care of P, running errands, trying to weave a network, live a “quality life,” do a give-and-take with what I believe and getting me and P on the same page is exhausting. We understand each other’s concerns about money, but we don’t see eye-to-eye even remotely close.

I’ve slacked on the budget, thrown everything on the credit card, and let Costco become a drug to me. I’m still only working one low paying job and trading my time for very little money.

So I did some brainstorming and came up with some numbers. I’m $43,000 in debt. Let’s say it takes me 10 years to get out of debt, being conservative. That’s $4,300 a year of debt. Divide that by 12 months and it’s just over $350 a month.

Well my car payment is roughly $200 a month. If I knock out that car payment and my small student loan, my debt is almost in half. That leaves me almost $250 a month, extra, to throw at the big student loan. Let’s err on the slow side and say I’m out of debt in 12 years instead of 10.

12 years later, I’m 42 still making next to nothing, no side hustles but out of debt. I was saving approximately $500 a month prior (because it was going to debt) that I’m throwing in retirement savings. I have 17 and half years until I receive my pension (assuming I last the last year and 4 months at my current job).

17 years to build my 401k, bring up my income and still retire at 59 1/2. That’s assuming I’m saving 5 years EXTRA after getting out of debt. When I break it down like that, it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s a lot slower pace than the financial community, but it works on my income, my pace, and assumes that I don’t progress forward that much.

17 years to save and 12 years to get out of debt, and I’m still retiring almost 3 years before I can even take Social Security payments. 3 years to enjoy life. That’s 29 and a half years I have to prepare for retirement. That’s almost literally double the life I lived up to this point. Doesn’t seem so bad now does it?

Leave a Reply