NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– If you feel like it’s going to be an eternity before you’ll be able to retire, you’re not alone.
As many as one third of all Americans say retirement is a distant dream, but it doesn’t have to be.
CBS2 is revealing the secrets of retiring young.
Bob Shubatt retired at the age of 55, and says “it really isn’t that hard.”
His wife, Pat, left work at 51 all thanks to a plan Shubatt hatched in his late 20s, CBS2’s Maurice DuBois reported.
“It’s just about discipline and time,” Shubatt said, and some serious willpower.
Take for example Shubatt’s thoughts on buying a cup of $4 coffee every day over the course of a forty-year career.
“If you’d taken that same amount of money that you spent on coffee and you invested it and you got 8 percent rate of return, you’d have over $837,000 more in your retirement account,” he said.
Little sacrifices like this helped Shubatt and his wife maximize the money they contributed to their 401K plans. The couple said they also never racked up credit card debt, paying cash for items, including their cars.
Buying only items on sale and cashing in on rewards programs became somewhat of a game.
“I love every day of it,” Shubatt said.
Financial Advisor Nicole Middendorf said the key to retiring early is living on and sticking to a budget.
“If you’re waiting until you’re 40 it’s much more difficult,” Middendorf said.
She said people need at least 25 times our annual budget by retirement. And if clients want to walk away early, starting early is crucial.
Bottom line: most early retirees say once you commit to this goal it’s all about living simply and making the most of your money. If you spend an extra dollar, it’s gone. If you invest it, you put it to work for your future.
By living below their means the Shubatts paid off their mortgage in 12 years, all while their investments delivered an 8 percent rate of return, essentially, doubling their money every nine years.
In addition, to maximizing your companies 401K match, financial experts recommend opening a ROTH IRA. Both earnings and withdrawals on the account, are tax free, after age 59.