Gone are the days when people work until they turn 65, collect a pension, and retire. Employees used to be able to rely on their employer to take care of them so long as they spent a significant part of their working lives with that employer. Well, that rarely exists these days. Individuals can only rely on themselves to save and invest for their retirement.
My thirst for early financial independence, also referred to as FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) by those in the personal finance world, probably started in 2014, as you will be able to tell from my savings rate that I will show you further down in this article. It started with rethinking my concept of money. The age old adage of retirement is to save 15-20% of your income, work until you turn 65, and then enjoy your life. But what if I don't want to start enjoying life when I turn 65? Can I do it as early as 55 years old? What about 45, or even 40 years old?