9 Early Retirement Stories That Will Motivate You

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I love a good story about early retirement or financial independence! Everyone is so different, and it’s interesting to see how people have approached early retirement and financial independence.

Moreover, everyone has a unique idea and vision about what early retirement or financial independence means to them.

If you want to learn more about how to retire early, the stories I’m going to share today will teach, motivate and inspire you.

Early retirement may sound like a dream, but more and more people are trying to retire early as part of the FIRE movement. If you’ve never heard of the concept, FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early.

There are many different versions of FIRE, and it can mean being debt free, retiring early, quitting your regular job to take a less stressful job, and so on.

There are many reasons why someone would want to retire early or achieve financial independence, such as:

  • Pursuing a passion without worrying about making an income
  • Have more time to travel
  • having freedom
  • Spend more time with family and those you love

Finding a good early retirement story can give you the energy boost you need to continue working on your sideline activities, find new ways to save, and spend more money on investments and retirement accounts.

You can also learn new tips and tricks for early retirement that you would never try.

You may find in this article one or two stories about achieving FIRE that will really resonate with you – maybe the person was in a similar situation, lives near you, has the same hobbies or something else.

In today’s article, I share 9 interviews and guest posts with people who have retired early or become financially independent. I ask everyone to share their story, and you will learn things like:

  • How much they saved for early retirement
  • How/if they still earn income after they quit their job?
  • Their tips and tricks on how they saved money so quickly for their retirement
  • How much they spend annually, not that they’ve retired early

And more.

While some of their strategies may seem crazy or impossible to you, it shows different ways to approach financial independence.

Don’t get discouraged if it takes you longer than the people I’ve interviewed. It’s not about comparing yourself to others, and remember that we all have to start somewhere.

Related content:

Here are 9 early retirement stories to keep you motivated.

1. How this couple retired at age 38 and 41

Tanja Hester, of the very popular blog Our Next Life, retired at the end of 2017 at the age of 38.

This is one of my favorite early retirement stories and I highly recommend reading it. It’s very in-depth, and she’s also the author of the super helpful book on early retirement – Work Optional: Retire early the no-penny-pinching way

In this interview you will learn:

  • How she retired so early
  • How she still lives comfortably in one of the most beautiful places in the world
  • Her advice for early retirement, whatever your career choice
  • How she decided how much money she needed to retire
  • The sacrifices she had to make

You can learn more on How this couple retired at 38 and 41

2. How I Retired At 30 With $500,000

Purple was 30 when she retired in late 2020 and had $500,000 invested.

In our interview you will learn:

  • How She Chose $500,000 as Her Early Retirement Amount
  • Why she chose to retire early
  • The career she quit
  • Whether she still earns income with early retirement
  • The sacrifices she made to retire early
  • Her choice for health insurance as an early retiree and full-time nomad

You can learn more on How I Retired With $500,000 At Age 30?

3. How this couple retired in their thirties and now travels the world

Jeremy and Winnie, of Go Curry Cracker, took early retirement with the goal of traveling the world.

Jeremy and Winnie were in their thirties when they retired. Their son now travels with them and has already been to 29 countries!

In this interview you will learn:

  • How they retired in their thirties
  • Why did they want to retire early?
  • How they live comfortably, rent houses with private pools, fly business class and travel tons – contrary to the myth that early retirees are boring and eat only beans and rice to survive
  • How did they decide how much they needed to retire?
  • What they do about health insurance in early retirement

You can learn more on How This Couple Retired In Their Thirties And Now Traveling The World: An Interview With Go Curry Cracker

4. How This 38-Year-Old Owns 7 Rentals

Not only did Paula Pant retire early, she owns 7 rental properties, which brought in $125,000 in one year and gave her $43,000 after expenses.

In our interview, Paula explains:

  • How she got into real estate investing
  • How she could afford so many rental properties
  • What she’s looking for in a rental unit
  • The types of real estate she invests in
  • How much time and money does it take to invest in real estate?
  • How she manages rentals while living in another part of the country
  • Her worst tenant
  • The sacrifices she made to make this all possible

You can learn more on How this 34-year-old owns 7 rental homes

5. How Elizabeth achieved financial independence and moved to a farm at age 32

Elizabeth Willard Thames, better known as Mrs. Frugalwoods, achieved financial independence at age 32 and left a successful career to create a more meaningful, purposeful life with her husband and children on a 66-acre farm in the Vermont woods. †

In this interview you will learn:

  • How she achieved financial independence
  • The differences between her old 9-5 and her dream life
  • The sacrifices she made to become financially independent
  • How she saved 70%+ of her income
  • How She Still Lives Pretty Comfortably Despite Saving So Much Money
  • How she plans to make her retirement money last for the rest of her life

You can learn more on How Elizabeth achieved financial independence and moved to a farm at age 32

6. How I paid off my $400,000 mortgage in 7.5 years and before I was 32

Rob has an incredible debt-free story. He was able to pay off his $400,000 mortgage in just 7.5 years, all before he was 32 years old.

“I was one of those weird kids who couldn’t wait to graduate. I have always had a long-term focus and viewed university as a springboard. One day during my freshman year, I remember walking to class with a friend and saying I couldn’t wait to graduate and start earning some money. My friend turned to me with an incredulous look and confessed that he intended to make it happen as long as he could. Needless to say, I probably didn’t enjoy studying as much as others.’

Read more at How I paid off my $400,000 mortgage in 7.5 years before I was 32

7. How This 28-Year-Old Retired With $2.25 Million?

JP Livingston retired at age 28 with a net worth of $2.25 million.

Of that total, 60% of her wealth came from savings, while 40% came from growing her money through investing.

And she did all this while living in one of the most expensive places in the world – New York City.

In our interview you will learn:

  • How she reached $2,250,000 in savings at age 28
  • The Career She Had Before Retiring
  • What she’s doing now that she’s retired
  • How she plans to use her savings for the rest of her life
  • What else would she do?

You can learn more on How This 28-Year-Old Retired With $2.25 Million

8. How I Retired in My Thirties – From Crying Ugly to Retiring 10 Years Later

JT graduated with great hopes and dreams, but soon found himself hitting a financial low. Then, 10 years after living in a hostel with only a few dollars left to his name, JT took early retirement at age 30.

In this article, JT shares 6 steps to retire when you’re 30, how to do math for early retirement, and more.

You can learn more on How I Retired When I Was In My Thirties – From Crying Ugly To Retiring 10 Years Later

9. How did I achieve financial freedom and live on a sailboat before I was 40?

In just eight years, Fleur and Ronald were able to achieve financial freedom and now they live on a sailboat.

They’ve saved enough money to invest in three properties, buy and live on a 42-foot sailing catamaran, build a passive income stream, and more.

I interviewed them to find out:

  • How they achieved financial freedom and FIRE
  • How they afford to travel and live on a boat
  • What an average day is like for them
  • How much does it cost for them to live on a sailboat?
  • All about their passive income stream
  • How they saved money to buy real estate

You can read our interview at How this couple achieved financial freedom and lived on a sailboat before their 40th birthday

What can I do to learn more?

If you want to learn more about early retirement or financial independence, there are some great books to get you started.

Many of these books contain the author’s personal story about early retirement and their own strategies. You will definitely be motivated and inspired.

What do you think about early retirement or financial independence? Is it one of your goals?