30 People Who Reached Financial Independence Before 40 and Retired Early To Financial Freedom

30 People Who Reached Financial Independence Before 40 and Retired Early To Financial Freedom

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Instead of working until you're 65, people are starting to save up enough money to retire and never work again. It's called financial independence/retire early (FIRE) and you can do it too. Here's a list of 30 people who reached financial independence. #financialindependence #retireearly #earlyretirement #savemoney #firemovement #fire

The list is sorted in order of retirement age. If you know of someone who should be added here, let me know via the comment section below. The age of financial independence and early retirement (FIRE) is in parenthesis after the name. Other people achieved financial freedom on average household incomes below. So can you. If you get busy with side hustles, maybe you can retire even earlier.

If you think financial independence is impossible, you’re wrong. Even if you’ve paid thousands due to the knowledge tax, like I did, there’s always still time to get your finances in order and be financially independent one day. If you’re weary of spending money to fix your financial life, here are 20 free money tools you can use to get your financial life in order.

What if you’re the kind of person who wants a blueprint to follow, here’s a step by step guide for how to invest your money. If you’ve never been sure of which order you should fill your accounts with (401k, IRA, 529, bank accounts, broker accounts, etc), there is a tax optimized order, which I describe above in the step by step guide.

The Ultimate List of People Who Reached Financial Independence Before 40

1). JP Livingston (28) – She retired at 28 with $2.25M in NYC. She worked in finance and managed to save upwards of 70 percent of her income. She blogs about advanced investment and tax strategies and just had baby Livingston.

2). Michelle (28) – She blogs at Making Sense of Cents and has one of the biggest followings out of personal finance blogs out there. She managed to quit her analyst job and work on her blog full time, eventually building it to become a blog that makes $1M in yearly revenue. She currently lives in a RV and travels across the country with a penchant for hiking and the outdoors.

3). Pauline (29) – Her motto is “Work Smarter Live More”, which everyone should take to heart. She ventured off the beaten path by retiring to Guatemala. She’s travelled the world on a one year trip around the world, and has also taken two six month motorcycle trips.

4). Grant (30) – He became financially independent at 30 when he started a company and socked away enough money to cross the millionaire mark in 5 years. He’s a SEO guru and has a book coming out next year whose topic is financial freedom.

5). Jacob (30) – He writes Early Retirement Extreme, which advocates for retiring in less than 5 years. He falls into the more leanFIRE category and feels you should run your finances like a company. Concentrate on growth, and pay down your liabilities while increasing your assets, are his main pieces of advice.

Philippines - I could see myself living here for fun for a bit after retirement when I achieve financial independence.
Philippines – I could see myself living here for fun for a bit after retirement when I achieve financial independence.

Related: How To Get The Highest Yield From Your Savings Account; 1.85%!

6). MMM (Peter) (30) – Everyone knows MMM. He’s the guy everyone first quotes when you think of frugality and financial independence. His forums are pretty popular as well. He’s originally from Canada, so maybe that’s why he never caught the consumerism bug and loves to DIY and optimize his life. He’s even started a MMM headquarters!

7). Kristy (31) – Known better as Canada’s youngest retiree, Kristy runs the blog over at Millennial Revolution. She and her husband retired at 31 to travel the world. They’ve since done some real good in retirement, as they’ve helped code some non-profit apps.

8). Jay (31) – He graduated with an engineering degree and retired at 31 and writes over at FI fighter. If you’re looking for someone who talks about alternative investments because you’ve heard too much about index funds, check him out.

9). Elizabeth (32)- She writes at Frugalwoods and just released her new book, which chronicles her path towards reaching financial independence. They live in a cabin in the woods in Vermont and have their own family farm. Simple living at its finest and one of the sweetest bloggers out there.

10). Anita (33) – She loves books and reviews them on her blog along with travel stories and her enchanting bucket list. Now that she’s reached financial independence, she has plenty of time to cross things off her bucket list!

Related: 150+ side hustles and extra ways to make money.

Sunset in Oia, Santorini. Waking up to the white walled cliffs is something I want when I achieve financial freedom.
Sunset in Oia, Santorini. Waking up to the white walled cliffs is something I want when I achieve financial freedom.

Related: How To Triple Dip On Cash Back Rewards

11). Brandon (33) – One of the biggest names out there in the financial independence space, the Mad Fientist has a an awesome blog and podcast filled with complex topics like how to minimize taxes and travel hacking. He’s traveled to over 45 countries and isn’t stopping there!

12). Jason (33) – He has a heart breaking story, and if there’s ever a true story of adversity for FI bloggers, his is it. Despite it all, he managed to retire at 33 and has utilized geographic arbitrage to relocate to Chang Mai.

13). Justin (33) – Mr. Root of Good got his law degree but worked as an engineer instead. His family just traveled to Europe for 2 months and he’s got an upcoming month in the Bahamas with the family. He’s definitely living the life with early retirement.

14). Sam (34) – One of the largest blogs in the finance sector, Sam’s blog at Financial Samurai focuses on advanced investing, tax strategies, and interesting analytics of US demographics. Prior to retirement, Sam worked on Wall Street and got his MBA. He’s also consulted with a number of startups. He’s financially independent, but finds fun in working on his blog.

15). Mr Crazy Kicks (34) – His blog has a lot of DIY hacks, such as brewing your own beer and growing your own food via a DIY greenhouse. He also has a ton of travel and weather arb posts.

Palawan - Scuba diving in when you achieve financial independence? It will be the best of times.
Palawan – Scuba diving in when you achieve financial independence? It will be the best of times.

Related: How To Do a No-Fail No-Spend Challenge (Free Printable!)

16). Stop Ironing Shirts (34) – He reached FI at 34, but hasn’t officially stopped working yet. His blog name is a nod to the fact that he hates ironing his shirts for the corporate world. Dry cleaning is expensive! They love Hawaii and hope to move there for a bit once they’ve fully started their life of financial freedom.

17). Paul + Vicki (35) – These are the only people on the list who’ve retired nearly 30 years ago. They’ve been living out their life out of the country for the past three decades, occasionally coming back to the US to see family. They’ve travelled to over 80 countries and have had an amazing time.

18). ER Dude (36)- He blogs over at Early Retirement Dude and has been retired for 12 years. He’s one of the few who have been retired prior to 2008. Along the way he house hacked and utilized geographic arbitrage.

19). Steve (36) – He currently lives in an Airstream trailer even though his new worth has climbed north of $1M. He has a fun YouTube channel and helps run RockStar Finance and is a CNBC contributor. Steve was in IT and hustled to FIRE in less than a decade when he realized he could retire early.

20). Michael (36) – He founded an IT company at 25 and worked hard to get it off the ground before selling it and getting a nice severance package. He’s read an incredible amount of books on personal finance and has an incredibly grateful attitude.

Serene Venice. Maybe you can live there for a few months when you’re financially independent before it sinks.

Related: 6 Common Things You’re Doing WRONG With Your 401k and How To Fix It For Free!

21). Jeremy (38)- His niche is traveling the world and saving on the taxes that come with that. Did you know the IRS excludes up to $102k per taxpayer if you’re outside of the country for 330 days a year? His adorable kid, GCC Jr. also makes an appearance and has been to 26 countries! Jeremy has taken financial freedom to the next level by becoming a nomad that travels all across the world.

22). Joe (38)- He’s currently a stay at home dad and blogger, which sounds pretty fun and retired to me! Joe was an engineer at Intel before retiring. For him, financial freedom allows him to spend time with his sons.

23). Mr. Tako (38)- He writes about things that are not just index funds, and has interesting trade ideas every few months that he shares with the public. Also, his blog is partially a food and travel blog I feel, which I love! I think retiring should be all about eating good food and traveling and he has absolutely done that.

24). Mr Doom (38)- He blogs over at Living a FI on more advanced finance and FI topics. He blogs throughout his journey and touches on philosophical quandaries.

25). Tanja (38) – She runs the blog Our Next Life as well as the podcast, Fairer Cents. They retired just at the end of 2017, so follow their blog to see what retirement is like. They’ve traded jobs that gave money for more fulfilling things in life.

FatFIRE will bring short castle stays. Who doesn't want to feel fancy occasionally?
FatFIRE will bring short castle stays. Who doesn’t want to feel fancy occasionally?

Related: The Three Step Blueprint To Paying Off Your Student Loans In Record Time

26). Physician on FIRE (39) – Though PoF hasn’t retired from the workforce, he has enough to be financially independent. He takes his kids on month-long trips to volunteer in South America or immerse themselves in Mexico, so that’s a pretty liberal work life. He blogs about advanced finance and resources for doctors so they can retire early too.

27). Slow Dad (39) – He’s got an fascination with Lego minifigs and has migrated 5 times. He’s has insight into working visas and residency permits and even certified to become a financial planner! Even though he doesn’t practice.

28). Paula Pant (30s)- She reached financial independence in her 30s by house hacking and investing in multiple rental properties. She also built an insane online business with 50,000 subscribers. Though financially independent, she still finds it fun to work on her business.

Honorary Financial Freedom Mentions

While these three didn’t necessarily achieve financial freedom before 40, they’re pretty close. Plus they’re awesome bloggers! Check them out.

29). Carl (43) – Let’s round the retirement age down and we’re at 40! Carl has one of the funniest FIRE blogs out there with memes and gifs up the wazoo. Follow his house DIY fixer-upper story and his half-marathon training.

30). Karsten (43) – The best analytical mind on the topic of FIRE out there in the form of a blogger. With a Phd and a quantitative role, I expected no less. He has a paper with SSRI and his series on SWR is simply mind-blowing. He just retired in early 2018 and will be skiing and traveling. Look out for his life after FIRE!

We define retirement here as being financially independent. If they choose to do work after being financially independent, that’s up to them. You should only care about getting to financial independence so you can do whatever you’d like to do in life. So, I consider them all to have retired early because they don’t need to work anymore as they’ve achieved financial freedom.

If you think they don’t count as retired, Google the Early Retirement FIRE police.

Just try and become financially independent yourself and stop judging what others choose to do with their lives after they amass enough money to never work again.

Author: Olivia

Olivia worked in finance and wants you to learn the secrets of financial independence. She believes there are so many ways to monetize your life and make money doing the things you're already doing because so many companies offer free money.

The average savings account rate is 0.1%. The big banks have incredibly low savings accounts rates. CIT Bank offers a 1.75% savings account. You can open an account with just $100 and no monthly fees or charge . Tired of being charged fees and getting peanuts in interest at your current bank? Open a CIT Bank savings account in less than 15 minutes online.

If you have a car, Rideshare apps allow you to pick a direction you want to go twice a day, so you can get extra money going somewhere you were driving to anyway at least twice a day. Get a $300 sign-up bonus with Lyft.

One of my favorite ways ways of monetizing my life is via credit card bonuses with cards that give you cashback or rewards. Check out our review of the Chase Sapphire cards, which give you at least $500 in cash or $625 in travel credit.

38 thoughts on “30 People Who Reached Financial Independence Before 40 and Retired Early To Financial Freedom

  1. Hi Olivia!!

    Great motivational roundup! I tried to challenge Mr. DS to hang it up by 40, but he has not officially accepted this challenge yet!

    It’s a goal to someday make it on a list like this. Thanks for putting it together and have a great week!

  2. I especially love reading about the early retirees that have been at it for 10+ years. Anyone with a good chunk of money can say they’re retired early on, but it just depends on if they make that money last in the long run. Ps – my parents were technically FI before 40 (my dad even “early retired” for a number of years when we were young to spend time with us, but enjoys his work so went back full time as we grew up).

    1. You’re a early retiring legacy! Whee! It’s interesting no one has come forward a decade ago. Maybe the market wiped them out? Or perhaps blogs were just not as popular then.

    1. No problem! They are indeed! I stopped buying every day clothes that needed to be dry cleaned as it was outrageously expensive.

  3. Yes, it can be accomplished. To reach early retirement at a young age you need a good income and be willing to save almost all if your earnings. It can be achieved, but it is not easy.

    1. It’s definitely not easy, but to achieve FI in less than a decade you need to save 65% of your income. Hopefully all the blogs out there of other people who have done it will inspire others :).

  4. Thanks for the mention!
    Personally, I think this list should be ordered by the time in ER. I’d be near the top then. 🙂

    The Terhorst deserve to be #1, for sure. They’re an inspiration. Although, I don’t think they’re in Chiang Mai anymore.

    1. Haha, I briefly considered that but a lot of bloggers didn’t mention a year they retired and only an age! So, blame all of them :P.

      Do you know where they are now? I saw an interview saying they were in Chang Mai, but would love to update it if you have more info!

  5. Love the list Olivia, it’s very inspirational….

    And as someone who is hoping to give up work just before 40, it’s motivation to slip under the barrier!

  6. This is a really cool list, Olivia! It’s like a list of all the cool kids and celebrities in the community! 🙂

    I hope to get appended to the honoraries list in 2019 when I call it at 44! 😉

    — Jim

    1. If you are in Europe you can start the trend :). Just show them this list and they’ll see they can do it too! Glad to hear you are trying to spread the word!

  7. Awesome, comprehensive post! I found some new great reads here, thank you!
    Such an expansive list shows it is possible for most of us to clean up our finances, and can hopefully achieve freedom no matter our job!
    Thanks!

  8. Whoo hoo! Made the list! Thanks for highlighting. It’s been a fun journey.

    I stopped saying I was retired after about a year b/c I had too much I wanted to do.

    Now w/ a baby boy, I’m definitely not retired but a FT SAHD!

    Sam

    1. Of course! Haha, I think we really need to change the meaning of the word. They should be the same.

      Sounds like a lot of work! Kids have so much energy it’s nuts.

    1. I’ve moved you up from honorary! Haha. I consider financially independent to be retired because you can do whatever you want. If you want to keep working, cool, it’s something you enjoy, that’s fine.

      Some people play golf all day every day and that sounds so difficult to me. I’d rather work on a cool startup or something for fun.

    1. Of course! And loved your GCC guest post :)! Hopefully I can fire one day and start my own little garden with baby chicks.

  9. Thanks for the mention Olivia!

    I guess I do blog about a lot more than personal finance! Good food and travel are part of what makes life great after FIRE!

    Thanks for including me among such great company!

    1. For sure!

      Makes it interesting. I follow along for the “artistry” rather than just the numbers. Still, the alternative investments section are pretty interesting :). Hope you keep doing it!

  10. What about Billy and Akaisha at Retire Early Lifestyle? I believe they retired at 38, and have been traveling the world for almost 30 years since.

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Author: Olivia

Olivia worked in finance and wants you to learn the secrets of financial independence. She believes there are so many ways to monetize your life and make money doing the things you're already doing because so many companies offer free money.

The average savings account rate is 0.1%. The big banks have incredibly low savings accounts rates. CIT Bank offers a 1.75% savings account. You can open an account with just $100 and no monthly fees or charge . Tired of being charged fees and getting peanuts in interest at your current bank? Open a CIT Bank savings account in less than 15 minutes online.

If you have a car, Rideshare apps allow you to pick a direction you want to go twice a day, so you can get extra money going somewhere you were driving to anyway at least twice a day. Get a $300 sign-up bonus with Lyft.

One of my favorite ways ways of monetizing my life is via credit card bonuses with cards that give you cashback or rewards. Check out our review of the Chase Sapphire cards, which give you at least $500 in cash or $625 in travel credit.