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Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 in ETF Strategist, Investment Perspective

If You Can’t Retire at 30 Then How About 38?

If You Can’t Retire at 30 Then How About 38?

by Roger Nusbaum AdvisorShares ETF Strategist

A couple of weeks ago we looked at an article from MarketWatch about a couple, now 39, who “retired” when they were 30. They live frugally, one way or another accumulated a pretty decent nest egg in their 20’s and took the time to become financially literate.

Comments on the original article and then on our post amounted to a debate about whether these people were industrious or lazy.

MarketWatch then found another couple, Billy and Akaisha Kaderli, now 61 who “retired” when they were 38. There are some similarities in the two stories; both couples live frugally and both couples figured out early on what they wanted their lives to be and had the discipline to make it happen.

Interestingly, both couples live on a similar dollar amount; “less than $30,000.” Also interesting is that both couples started out with about the same $600,000 nest egg (insert “nest and egg” joke from the 1985 movie Lost In America here) albeit 14 years apart.

The Kaderlis took a different path by selling everything to live out of their suitcases on a global scale meaning they live in places for short periods of time, on the cheap, and then move onto experience a new place. Some of this also involves house sitting which presumably means free rent at least some of the time. Currently they live in Guatemala.

Their route to financial literacy was different because Billy worked as a “broker” before they retired. MarketWatch reports that the Kaderlis use index funds and adhere to the 4% rule (a strategy where by a 4% withdrawal rate is believed to be the optimal withdrawal rate from a portfolio).

Again there were a lot of comments with many of them being negative and judgmental and as with the other article these miss the point. They say in yoga to “stay on our own mat” which means don’t worry about how other people do the poses, just focus on how your breathing and how you do the poses.

This applies directly to other people’s idea of happiness. Other people’s idea of happiness will of course be different, sometimes much different but is emotionally valid. Their plan may or may not work based on the dollars involved but obviously advisors need to be sensitive to their clients’ ideas on happiness and financial freedom.

No matter anyone’s beliefs, there is something to be learned from someone figures out what they need to be happy at an early age and has the discipline to make it happen. How it important could it be for someone whose financial plan is iffy to learn how to lop 20% off their expenses following just a few cheapskate tips?

These are success stories that anyone can learn from even if definitions of success are different than our own.