Do You Have What It Takes to Retire Early?

After years of reading and studying people who have retired extremely early, I’ve discovered there are two common threads that seem to connect them all.

The first is the ability to think differently. Not just want something different, but honestly believe that there is an alternative out there and they are going to find it.

The second trait that holds up the first the the ability to not care what people think. I mean this in a good way, not a bad way. When you live life outside of the box, some people are going to react negatively to your choices.

If you drive an older car, people are going to assume you cant afford anything nicer. Early retirees have the self confidence to ignore backhanded insults like “you can’t take it with you when you die.”

In the video we talk about some of our own struggles with “looking poor” and how we’ve overcome them.

9 thoughts on “Do You Have What It Takes to Retire Early?

  1. Debt Hater

    Loved the video, thanks for sharing. Sometimes I get comments from my friends at work since I bring my lunch everyday like “you never go out for lunch!” but I just brush them off. Some of these same friends also admit it’s expensive and have tried getting into the habit of bringing lunch more.

    FYI – For the headlights I know you were just using it as example, but I believe there are restoration kits that cost around $20 and are supposed to be able to remove any yellowing/fogginess. I have no personal experience with them, but I know my Dad has said he’s used them before and there is a bunch of them to choose from on Amazon.

    1. Mike And Lauren Post author

      Yea, we definitely get the most “constructive criticism” about not going out to eat as much. We’ve caved a few times under the pressure. Mostly because it’s just friends who want to hang out, not because they are making us feel bad about our frugality.

      We did the headlight restoration kit, but it only lasted a few months before turning yellow again. Don’t feel like turning that into a recurring expense 🙂

  2. Heather

    Awesome advice! I don’t get many comments from friends or coworkers (teachers tend to be frugal anyway). Most of the negativity comes from my family. They see that we aren’t shoppers, but they also know we are debt free. I live the life I want and feel comfortable with our choices. We do have room in the budget for small indulgences, but we choose to limit them.

    I love how you look at the big picture. Instant gratification cannot bring lasting happiness. I was curious, do you consider yourselves minimalists?

    1. Mike And Lauren Post author

      Hey Heather! I assume it’s your extended family not on board? Luckily both of our parents are supportive of our frugality.

      I think there was a time when we considered ourselves minimalists when we lived in NYC. I mean, I guess we still “are” but we’re just doing a bad job at it right now 🙂

      Our house is small so it makes it seem like we have more junk than we do, but as I look around there are quite a few piles of crap. Luckily it’s mostly project materials and tools. It’s not like its a bunch of electronics and gadgets or something.

  3. William

    Thanks for another great topic. One definitely has to be willing to stay true to the desire to retire early.

    1. Mike And Lauren Post author

      Thanks for the comment! That’s a very good point, you not only have to think different, but also stick with your convictions over the long term to see any results.

  4. EconoWiser

    I just found you through MMM’s forum. You guys are awesome and such a cute couple! <3

    Jup, I've lost friends over being frugal. They don't understand why we don't spend all our money…

  5. Matt M.

    Mike and Lauren, I just wanted to thank you for adding more wisdom to what I have been trying to accomplish over the last several years. We started our journey with Dave Ramsey about 8 years ago, but once we got out of debt (except for the mortgage), I couldn’t help but think that “15%” just wasn’t enough to save. I questioned a few other things, too, but needless to say, I love watching your short clips — they are very motivating. I am too old to retire extremely early (44 this year), but we have about 125k saved up. I am at the point in my life where I simply can’t envision doing “mandatory” work for more than another 5 years, maybe 10 years tops. So, we are saving like mad, and trying to realize 100k in new savings every two years. We will have our house paid off 17 years early this coming February, and just discovered a way to save an extra 600 bucks per month. I DO think we have what it takes to retire early(ish) – I just wish I’d pulled my head out 15 or more years ago, hahaha. I really don’t think I could have done all of this without help and encouragement from people like yourselves, with your inspirational (and funny!) messages. I thank you both from the bottom of my heart.

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