Retire at 30

Monday, September 26th, 2016

In 2005, Peter Adeney — better known as Mr. Money Mustacheretired at 30 years old:

Leading up to retirement, Adeney and his wife, Simi, both software engineers, stashed two-thirds of their combined $134,000 take-home pay in savings. After just 10 years in the workforce, the couple had accrued about $600,000 in investments and paid off a house worth $200,000, Adeney told Nick Paumgarten of The New Yorker, giving them a solid cushion to retire on.


He suggests learning to live on less — cutting down your wardrobe, buying used cars — and finding ways to add meaning to life that don’t rely on material possessions. One personal challenge he took on was learning carpentry.


  1. Lab Guy says:

    I lost all respect for that site when it came to taxation. Another leftist idiot — or do I repeat myself? — that was okay with the oppressive levels of taxation.

    I guess he forgets not all of us take home six figures but still are slave to various levels of government for half the year.

  2. Nover says:

    All these stories about retiring at 30 are BS.

    What is the average salary for a new college grad?

    How can you save that much when paying taxes, rent, car, dating, food, college loans, insurance, clothes, ect in just 8 years?

    How would they pay for health care for the rest of their lives?

    Do they not want to have children?

    Are they planning never to get divorced? (Wishful Thinking).

    Do they not put into their 401-K or IRA?

    The bottom line is that if real, these people got ALOT of help from their families.

  3. James James says:

    Yeah, $67k each post tax is a lot of money. Lesson: if you want to retire at 30, earn six figures and have a partner.

  4. James James says:

    I am sympathetic to the “anti-consumerist”, The Good Life ethos, but I also find it a bit sinister people trying to make it fashionable to live in a tiny house on a low income. It’s a bit like Tyler Cowen telling us we should all live on beans in the future.

  5. James James says:

    Also he’s 40 and only has one child.

  6. T. Greer says:

    If you actually read his site from the beginning, he answers just how he manages to pay for all of those things in 8 years. He had no college loans because he went to a cheap local school on in state tuition and scholarships. Rent was cheap because he lived in a crappy place. Car was cheap because he didn’t have one for many years and specifically chose to live where he does so he can get most of his transportation needs done by bycycle. He even uses a bicycle trailer for his groceries, still. He also has a half dozen posts on how to buy a car the right way if you want to read them. Food was cheap because he lived on rice and beans.

    He hammers away at two points again and again in his writing. The first is that retiring early comes at a cost–you are trading material goods and a high standard of living for freedom.

    His second point is that every purchase should be analyzed on its ten year cost–e.g., if you did not buy that starbucks cup, but put it in a 7% a year return investment for ten years, how much money would you have? From this perspective each starbucks cup o’ coffee is actually a 80-90 $ purchase.

    This adds up when you get a starbucks everyday.

    Even bigger savinngs when you choose your car, house, etc.

    He paints in extreme detail how his family was able to do what he did. Learn from it instead of bashin’ folks.

  7. B.J. Dubbs says:

    So at 55 he’s going to look back at 25 years of retirement behind him and 25 years ahead of him and think, “Oh yeah, that was a good choice.”

  8. Grasspunk says:

    If he’s hard core enough to do this, then he’s now free to go equally hard core on whatever it is that he wants to do next. And he won’t have a boss.

    Oh yeah, he’s going to be OK with “retirement”.

  9. Grasspunk says:

    Too funny, he uses “hardcore” in the first sentence on his home page.

  10. Nover says:

    You notice that all of these early retirement stories use the same age: 30. It seems that nobody retires early at 36, 39, 42, or 48. Only 30, and these people have the magical secret. These people are same as the people in the ads about buying/selling real estate quickly.

    Again I ask, how on earth would these people pay for health insurance for the rest of their lives?

    They also would not get full Social Security.

  11. Isegoria says:

    You may be interested in the shockingly simple math behind early retirement and Mr. Money Mustache’s explanation of how to retire early — namely, “$600,000 in investments, plus a paid-off house.” He should make you think:

    It was only after I turned 30 and had enough money to retire from real work that I started getting these incredulous comments from friends and coworkers, like “What do you mean you are retiring? How will you get the money to pay your car loan and your mortgage? I’d be sunk within a month if I lost my job.”

    To me, their stories were much more amazing than my own story of early retirement. They were the same age as me or older, and had equal or higher salaries. I couldn’t imagine having a shortage of money in such amazing conditions. Then I looked even higher up the income scale and found the same phenomenon. It turns out that humans are capable of blowing almost any amount of money, without realizing they are doing it.

  12. Mike in Boston says:

    Around here health insurance for a family is over $20k, and property taxes, water/sewer, and homeowner’s insurance will set you back easily another $10k or more per year. So his math really only works in low-cost areas for as long as you don’t get sick, and don’t want to save to educate your kids or get set them up in business.

    Which is why he’s out there making money hustling his personal-finance shtick.

  13. Isegoria says:

    You certainly can spend $20k/year for health insurance, but Mr. Money Mustache discusses spending about one-fifth of that on a high-deductible plan.

    I don’t think most families would want to consume just $25,000 per year, but he does lay out how they do it, and he admits that they’re helped by low property taxes in Colorado.

    I don’t think the goal is to copy his plan, but to learn from it.

  14. TPC says:

    He sold his house at the peak of the bubble and also had a good run buying low and selling high in the stock market. He had to admit to this getting lucky back to back as a major factor in being able to retire early. All the other stuff is just window dressing. His real secret is ‘manage to unload high-value assets at the peak of a bubble and then live like a poor person from 1950 but with better antibiotics’.

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