extreme early retirement: how do they do it? - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

extreme early retirement: how do they do it?

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

How would you like to work for five years and retire at age 33?

That's one extreme example of a trend known as Extreme Early Retirement.

In short, you've got to crank up your savings – way up. And whittle down your expenses. Way down.

One Houston computer whiz we'll call "Alex" told FOX 26 News he has been banking 30% of his salary so he can quit – and retire – in his mid-40's.

"I'm probably within three years," said Alex, who asked us to shield his identity to avoid blowback from his boss and co-workers. "Maybe it's just two years."

According to Alex, his monthly expenses hover around $1200. And he'd have to maintain that same standard of living, to stretch out his nest egg.

So this is not the type of retirement that deposits you on a beach in Florida. To writer and photographer Anna Spysz, it's more about adjusting the work/life balance.

"For some people," said Spysz, "it's quitting the day job and then spending more time on their hobbies – which may bring in more money as well."

Spysz isn't a full-fledged Extreme Early Retirement adherent and neither is Amanda L. Grossman. But both subscribe to many of the ideals.

"You need to save for tomorrow," said Grossman, "but you need to live for today. So I never pay full price for anything. I have a lot of ways to get around so that I can still get what I want, I can still get what I need, and we're not sacrificing our future."

Grossman, who blogs about her quest at www.frugalconfessions.com, says she and her husband saved 41% of their income last year.

They haven't set a retirement date yet. They're more interested in achieving financial security.

But Grossman believes anyone can do it, if they just change their mindset.

"I think everybody is capable of this. It's choices we make. And what I have found is, it's long-term thinking versus short-term thinking."

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