How To Retire By Age 30 (What Everyone Needs To Know)

Have you ever wondered how you can retire by age 30? Well, I have, and I’ve dedicated a lot of time researching this concept. The more I read into it the more I can see how it is actually possible, and easy to do in theory. I myself have set this as a goal of mine to achieve. In the society that we live in today, it is hard to comprehend that such a feat is possible, but it is. In order to make this happen, a specific lifestyle must be followed early on and committed to no matter what.

If you want to retire by age 30 then you need to adopt the goal as a lifestyle. You need to realize what retirement means to you. You also need to live well below your means. You must have a good investment plan. You need to know why you want to retire early, and you have to be consistent.

What is Retirement?

Saying the word “retirement” often brings images of senior citizens into many people’s heads. Why is it that we are trained to think that we must work countless hours during all of the years of our youth until we can finally reach that one day sixty or seventy years down the line when we can “retire”? The formal definition of retirement would have you thinking that you leave your job and never work again. This might be what you really want to do or what you think that you want to do. The problem is that money would be in control of our lives for that duration of sixty or seventy years if we don’t stop and take control of it as soon as possible. Being retired by age 30 in my mind simply means having nearly unlimited choices. Having those choices is due in part by having money work for us instead of us working for it forever.

In order for us to be in control of money instead of money being in control of us, we need to have enough money working for us to replace the income that normally would come from work. So essentially, once we reach that crossover point where we have enough money working to replace our income we are considered financially independent. It could be said that retirement means being financially independent as well because once you are considered to be “retired” you no longer have that income from work, you have to rely on other sources of income such as your nest egg.

So call it what you will but, for the purposes of retiring by age 30, we simply need to be financially independent and not have to rely on income from a job. Something like financial independence doesn’t just happen overnight, there are steps that we need to follow in order to make it a reality.

Live Well Below Your Means

The less you require in income per year, the faster you can “retire” or become financially independent. Your entire income does not need to be replaced, but your expenses do need to be replaced with nonwork-related income. That is why spending less money each year is the fast track to becoming financially independent. Everyone should be living at least within their means because if they are not, then that means that they are accumulating debt somewhere by spending more than they make.

If you want to retire by age 30 then you have to turn it up many notches. It is not uncommon for those seeking financial independence to have savings rates of over half of their income. It is also not uncommon for early retirement seekers to spend thousands of dollars less per month than those making the same amount of money.

Living well below your means does not mean that your life has to be boring or not enjoyable. In fact, many of those who do choose to live this lifestyle report being happier. Some of the best interests and hobbies cost little to no money but may require lots of time. The kind of time that you could only imagine having after being retired. Living well below your means is a lot like living a minimalist lifestyle.

With a minimalist lifestyle, you have less material things to upkeep or keep track of, and that frees up your mind and your time in order to allow you to pursue other interests that make you happy. Unfortunately, just spending less money isn’t going to get you to retire by age 30. You also need to put that extra money to good use in the form of investments that will generate income to replace the income that you would normally get from working.

Have A Good Investment Plan

Money that is working for you is money that is well invested. Investing may seem like a complicated subject that the average person couldn’t possibly comprehend, but it’s surprisingly easy and it is essential to being able to reach financial independence as quickly as possible.

It is true that there are many different ways you can invest, but it is especially important to make sure you are actually investing and not completely speculating/gambling. For the most part, the most successful investors are the ones that are the most boring investors.

Successful investors are well diversified across many asset classes. The investors that don’t try to time markets are more likely to be successful. Investors that are in it for the long game are able to realize the best gains. Most of the time, the simplest way to invest is a plan that will give you the greatest amount of reward while minimizing risk as much as tolerable. Investing is one of those topics that you can no longer put off, it is something that you must learn about as soon as possible so that you can utilize it to grow your net worth more quickly. Compound interest will also accelerate your investments over time if you look at investing as a function of your lifestyle.

Know Your “Why”

You need to know why you want to retire by age 30, or any age for that matter. If you don’t have a “why” then you won’t have anything to keep you going. Furthermore, if that “why” is not strong enough, then you will fall off track and lose sight of why you began seeking financial independence in the first place. This concept can actually be applied to any goal in your life, not only for those seeking financial independence or early retirement. Having a “why” and knowing how important it is to you will not allow you to fail.

I would personally argue that having a powerful “why” is actually more important than knowing all the answers to “how”. This is because we all have our different ways of how we can reach financial independence. It is just like how we all have different ways of accomplishing different tasks, but what motivates us is “why” we want to accomplish those tasks. I can’t tell you the reason for why you want to become financially independent, but I can say that for myself having the most personal freedom over my life and over my time is a powerful enough reason for me to seek it.

Financial independence may sound selfish and might even sound lazy, but to me, it is the ultimate form of freedom. Most people dream of having that kind of freedom, but most of those same people are not willing to put in the work to make that dream a reality.

I claim that I am willing to put in the work, I am willing to sacrifice a little now to enjoy a lot later. I want you to join me on my journey, even if you cannot find a way to invest at least half of your income each month today, know that it is a process that takes time. I started investing at age 18, with a much smaller percentage, but the percentage invested has grown to over half of my income. If you want something badly enough you will find a way to achieve it.

Be Consistent

If you want to get good at anything in life you need to be consistent. In order to retire early and reach financial independence, your consistency must last a lifetime. You must continue to live well below your means and stay on top of your investments. If you are consistent while on your journey to reaching retirement, then beyond should be easy for you. It’s not going to always be easy, but nothing worth it ever is. You may have minor setbacks or even major setbacks, but you get over those and get back on track.

Remember that this is a lifestyle that you have chosen to live, and it is a good life. Once you reach your goal, you will look back and realize that it was the time, effort, and consistency that has contributed the most to your success. Again, this can be applied to any goal in your life and financial independence is no different. So know what you want, know why you want it, develop your plan, and be consistent. You will get there eventually.


  • I define retirement as being financially independent and being able to live without having to work for an income.
  • You must live well below your means if you want to reach financial independence as quickly as possible.
  • Your overall plan must include a well thought out investment plan that will grow your money enough to eventually replace your expenses.
  • It is important to know why you want to retire early because if you do not have a powerful “why” then you won’t have a reason to stay motivated.
  • Take all these steps and be consistent for as long as it takes and beyond.

Zachary Smith

Zach is passionate about personal finance, especially when it comes to financial independence. He is a heavy index fund investor and budget connoisseur that also loves traveling, exercise, and the great outdoors. See his full bio here

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