Can I Retire Early?

Can I Retire Early-

After reviewing my goals and my budget, I was trying to figure out a way to get myself more motivated to get our spending down and increase our savings.

I read a lot about early retirement on blogs like the Frugalwoods and Mixing Maroons, and of course, most people reading any sort of personal finance blog know of Mr. Money Mustache… I know I have a long way to go before I can count myself anywhere near their frugality and financial awareness and responsibility, but I thought it might be a fun experiment to see what the calculations would tell me, and maybe it would be enough to get me motivated to increase the contributions to our RRSPs and TFSAs.

Using quick math and estimates, and the fancy shmancy retirement calculation from Networthify.com, I was told that with my current savings rate and expenses, I would be able to retire in 58 years.  Yup.  Probably going to want to retire before then.  That is with my current and measly $200/month contribution to my RRSP.  I know I need to increase that…

So I decided to get crazy… what if I am able to decrease my spending and expenses, and somehow only live off of 50% of my income, which seems to be a magic number in the personal finance world… I could retire in only 15 years!  That is more like it!  I could retire before I was 50!  I’d only have to be putting away $3200/month.  No big deal.

And while that’s fun and all, and something to work towards, I decided to figure out what I need to do in order to be comfortable retiring around 65 (the traditional retirement age).  This should be the minimum that I contribute.  So I ran the numbers again with 25 years as my target, and came up with around $2000/month as my minimum contribution.  So I have to up my contributions by 10 times what I am doing now.  And that is just to be on track for retiring at 65.  Yikes!

I’m not sure if that is motivating, or discouraging…

As I mentioned in the review of my goals earlier this week, I have almost reached the $48,000 goal for my RRSP (thanks to “found” money) and have updated my goal to $50,000 by the end of the year.  If I were to keep my $200/month contributions, I would be relying on market increases to get me past that goal, however, if I were to increase my contributions to $400/month I would be able to get to that goal without any help from the market (provided the market doesn’t tank).

While $400/month will help me with my 2015 financial goals, it still only decreases my years to retire to 53 years.  But I think it is a good place to start.  If I can get comfortable living off a little bit less, then I’ll be able to increase it again in the future.

53 years

So, that’s what I am going to do.  I’m going to give my RRSP guy a call next week and increase my automatic withdrawal from $200 to $400.  No excuses here.  Please call me out on it if I don’t report back saying I’ve done it.

Have you ever played with the early retirement calculators?  Are they motivating for you?  Or does it seem overwhelming and discouraging?

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6 thoughts on “Can I Retire Early?

  1. Whoa, that numbers are daunting – $3200 per month to retire in 15 years 🙂 I think it’s great to up your contribution to $400/month. I probably should know this, but do you have a employer’s match because that can greatly help make the retirement saving easier? I also find it crazy because I save over $850/month ($800 every two weeks) and even still I’m barely reaching where I need to be for a 55 y/o retirement in 26 years. I just hope for salary growth without crazy lifestyle inflation in the future. I feel like I’m doing VERY WELL, but at the same time the numbers aren’t adding up.

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    • Yeah, that $3200 per month is a big one… I’m just really hoping that I am overestimating the required money for the future…

      We do not have any employer matching at my work. We do get some pretty nice bonuses occasionally, so I should probably put those in to retirement funds, but I used the last one to help buy our house… If I get one this year, I’ll try and do something wise and responsible with it like put it in my RRSP or TFSA…

      $800 every two weeks is great! That puts my $200 per month to shame, big time!

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      • Oh I definitely mistyped that 🙂 It’s $400 every two weeks. I was trying to clarify that it was $800 every four weeks, so 13 times per year, nor 12 🙂 Duh!

        Also, is that $3200 between you and the mister, or just your contribution? It sounds super daunting for one person (honestly, that’s pretty much my take-home pay!)

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        • Well, $800 every four weeks is still much better than my $200/month… but I have increased that now to $400/month, so I’m just under half of what you are doing…

          This contribution is just my RRSP, not the mister’s… And my calculations are maybe a little off because I’m only using my side of things… It’s hard to estimate things going forward because he’s in a bit of a transitional phase for his employment right now…

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  2. I don’t usually worry too much about those numbers because I tend to find they assume a pretty inflated lifestyle. By all means you should up your contributions, but I think you’ll be able to retire at a normal age — you might not be really living it up but you’ll be able to eat 🙂

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    • Yeah, you definitely need to take their calculations with a grain of salt… I’m not going to let the numbers stress me out, but I’d like to use them as motivation. I’m sure I’ll be able to eat when I retire 🙂 But I would like to travel too…

      Liked by 1 person

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