I became financially independent and was able to retire when I was 31. As far as I know 31 makes me somewhat of an outlier. When I look at early retirement profiles, the earliest retirees are typically in their late 30s, but the norm for early retirement seems to late 40s or early 50s.

I am not a dot-com millionaire, I did not win the lottery. I do and did not even have a six figure income. What I did was to adopt a program of extreme savings and frugality about six years ago. Other early retirees speak of saving 30-40% of their income. I was saving 70-80%. In case you did not know, financial planners typically recommend saving 10-15% of one’s income, but many people do in fact save nothing at all.

As with most things, the reasons for me doing so have changed along the way. In fact I did not give money much thought before I was 25. (But here’s a couple who did.) Back then money was something I saved until I had enough for a new computer or a new bicycle. When I had enough, I would spend it all, and so it went. However, around that age, I started thinking about buying a house.

I also learned that mortgage is French for “death lock”.

First, consider the total interest you will pay on a $100000 loan at 6% running for 30 years. It is roughly $100000 times 0.06 times 30 = $180000. This makes the total cost of your house $280000. This means you will be paying for your house 3 times over. What a rip-off!

Second, mortgages often force people to keep working at jobs they don’t like. If they did not, they would not be able to make their mortgage payment and shortly thereafter they would be thrown out of their home. In other words, a mortgage indirectly binds you to a job for 30 years which is also equivalent to the typical productive life time for a worker. There is a reason why no 60 year mortgages are offered! This is why it is called a death lock. Your job owns you for life.

I decided that that was not going to happen to me, so I started saving hard.

What is your savings rate? How long do you plan on keep working/when do you plan on retiring?