Early Retirement
My wife was in a dead-end career as a travel
agent, earning less than $15,000 per year at
a job that was quickly turning obsolete. It was
1998 and we had been saving for 7 years –
nearly half of a 15-year retirement plan –
and yet we still only had a nest egg of
about $68,000. Robin realized she had
to invest in herself first before she could
do much to help with investing for our retirement. So for 1½ years
she went back to school to reinvent herself and become a nurse.
Think of it: here we were, in the midst of our primary investing
years, and instead of earning money...  
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Nobody’s saying it’s easy to retire early on an average salary, but
it's not impossible either. It took us 15 years to get rich slowly,
investing steadily month by month until we had amassed a nest egg
of nearly $1 million -- enough to safely generate about $40,000 per
year. Here's how much we invested per month.   
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Early retirement is not a pipedream: it is
achievable and primarily a question of
priorities and determination. What we
accomplished by investing in index
funds in a slow and steady fashion is
definitely repeatable by normal human
beings with normal everyday jobs and
lives. So let’s debunk four myths about
early retirement while finding the kernel of truth hidden at the heart
of each. Myth #1: You can't retire early unless you...  
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Free Investment
Spreadsheet (Excel)
Downsizing for life on the road requires a new way
of thinking about packing...  
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If you plan to travel
overseas for several
months, consider
buying a used car.  
It gives you the
freedom to go where
you want when you
want. For example,
at New Zealand's
Auckland Car Fair...
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If you’re planning a simple
early retirement, you stand a
good chance of paying much
lower income taxes than
you've grown accustomed to
in your working years. While
your income tax may not
always be zero in retirement,
it could quite conceivably be
10% or less. This is good news if you’re thinking of retiring early on
less. Let’s look at our own situation as an example...  
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Never underestimate the value of a
good travel ring. By travel ring I
mean a substitute ring as a
placeholder for your engagement
ring or wedding band that you wear
only when you are traveling. We all
know how much sentimental as well
as monetary value can be attached
to the originals....  
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Travel-Related Articles
When the headlines are screaming
“Dow Plummets!” and “S&P 500 Hits
New Lows!” you should be smiling and
thinking to yourself, “Blowout Sale on
Stocks! Limited Time Only!” Until we
retired, we always welcomed bad news
in the stock market. Why? Because
bad news is actually good news for...
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We've heard it suggested that
investment timing was crucial to our
success in retiring early -- that we
started investing in the 1990's when
the stock market was roaring and
that the results we attained aren't
necessarily repeatable by others
under today’s market conditions.
Is this true? Did we benefit from exceptional market timing?
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Why peer through a peephole
when you can look out a picture
window? That's what we wonder
when we see investors peering
through a narrow window at just
one year’s fund or market results.
Whether the results are good or
bad hardly matters -- it's that the
view itself is distorted by the narrow dimensions. By looking through
a bigger window – at 10, 20, or even 100 years of results –  the
picture suddenly becomes clearer.  
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People have a natural curiosity about
just how much an author can make as a
result of publishing a book. And if that
book happens to be about retiring early
(as ours is), then the curiosity can be
even stronger because folks wonder
whether the book itself is what’s allowing
the author to escape the nine to five
routine. Well, we’re here to set the
record straight. Below we post our actual
book royalties to date...    
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Here are 10 reasons
you should consider
bringing resealable
plastic bags on your
next trip.
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Just across the border from
Yuma, Arizona is a hidden
gem for the budget-minded:
Algodones, Mexico. This is
our new go-to place for
three things at reasonable
prices: dental, vision, and
prescription drugs. It's like
a huge medical tourism...
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One of the best things we did in life
was accomplish our dream of early
retirement. That said, looking back I'm
also very glad we stopped to smell the
roses along the way. It takes disci-
pline and hard work to save for early
retirement, but you don’t want to miss
out on the good life has to offer while
you strive to achieve it. Surprisingly,
some of my favorite memories...   
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What makes this book different from all the other books out there
on early retirement? We think it's the amount of personal financial
detail we provide. We don’t hold back! You can use this information
as a kind of financial yardstick to measure what is possible in your
own life.
A tiny condo fits quite
well with our retirement
travel lifestyle -- and
living in a tiny home can
also dovetail perfectly
with your plans for early
retirement. Here’s why...
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The steps we followed are repeatable and relatively easy to
implement by normal human beings with normal jobs and lives.
That's our primary message: that retiring early is not a pipedream,
but something achievable and very much worth achieving.
"I am a financial advisor and I enjoyed this book very much. I am
planning on adding the print version of this to the lending library I
keep for clients -- this is saying something -- I read and discard
probably 6 or 7 financial books to every one I keep to lend..."
"I have read dozens of retire early / personal finance books and I
can say with confidence this is the best. I bought the Kindle
version but then decided to buy four more paperbacks to give as
graduation presents to my graduating son and nieces and
nephews. I feel this book encompasses all the necessary topics to
get a financial life on track whether it be young or old. I highly
recommend this book!!"
Best retirement / personal
finance book I have ever read!!
Inspiring
"This is a fantastic book. If you are interested in retiring early and
want to figure out how to, and I mean not only theoretically, but in
a completely concrete and hands-on way, then this is exactly the
book you need. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!...
The perfect book on early
retirement planning
The ten-year mark seems like a natural
time to step back and see how you’re
doing with any big decision in life. So
how are we doing ten years after
retiring early? The short answer is,
great! As of January 2017 our nest egg
stands at...   
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Net Worth: Final Edition
As of February 2021 our nest egg stands at $1.5 million and
our net worth (including condo) at over $1.7 million. For
comparison purposes, we began our early retirement 14 years
ago in Dec 2006 at age 43 with a net worth of $925K, so we've
seen our nest egg and net worth go up, not down, while still
withdrawing 3% to 4% in living expenses from investments
each year on average. We think this is powerful evidence that
your money really can work for you so you don't have to.

As noted on our homepage, we will no longer be able to make
updates to this website, so this will be our final investment
update on Where We Be -- although we will continue to post
occasional updates on our How to Retire Early
Facebook page.

Note: We've received no financial help of any kind from any
outside source throughout our financial journey. We've
always tried to be up-front about our finances to give others
on the same path an idea of what to expect, so in that spirit
we've provided this progress report to hopefully inspire you
to keep on investing!
1) The Camino de Santiago is
as much an internal journey as
an external one. Whether a
village is pleasant and
memorable is very much based
on one's mood while there.
2) Walking forces you to focus
on only what is in your path
today, and not worry about
tomorrow's experiences.
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