I've been spending a lot of time talking with retirees -- and younger folks already planning their retirements -- about how to make some frugal lifestyle adjustments so it's still possible to stop working, despite big losses in savings. Many of their ideas apply at any time of life.
Charlie Gutz, the blogger behind Frugal Retirement, is a 32-year-old IT engineer in Omaha, Nebraska who would like to retire as soon as possible -- sometime before age 50. To do that, he saves money wherever he can, using some of his grandparents' techniques, and also earns extra income outside of his paycheck. Here are some of his ideas:
Overall, Gutz estimates that these techniques allow him to save around one-third of his income.
Meanwhile, Jacob of the Early Retirement Extreme blog is 33 and has already effectively retired from his career as an astrophysicist. But he continues to write, blog, copyedit scientific papers, and volunteer. He started his blog, he says, because he wants to encourage people to reconsider whether they want to work as hard as they do to support expensive lifestyles, instead of scaling everything (including work) back. Here are some of his techniques:
Jacob estimates that when he was a salaried employee, he saved around 75 percent of his income. His budget is now just over $500 a month, almost half of which is rent.
Do any of these strategies appeal to you? If you have other ideas, please add them below.