When Can I Retire?

Question 1: When can I retire?

Short answer: February 7, 2025*

When Can I Retire Messy MoneyThat is 9 years and 11 months from now or 3,623 days. The bad news: It sounds  like an eternity to me. The good news: I have actually figured it out. Now that I know, I can make changes to move the date.

I have noodled over the idea of early retirement for more than a year now. What is it? How does it happen? Is it possible? One day, I woke up and realized that it is possible. I wrote about it at the time in Financial Independence ruined my life. Accepting that it is possible was the first step.

So, it took some time to accept it but I didn’t really do much about it once I did. I knew that we had to control our spending. I knew that we had to save money but I didn’t have a plan and I didn’t have a date. It is hard to accomplish something if you don’t have a plan or a roadmap.

“Retirement” is a fuzzy concept

Retirement means different things to different people, so that brings me to another question.

Question 2:  What does retirement mean to me?

Answer: Having the means to do whatever it is I want to do and not relying on a traditional paycheck to support myself.  I might work in a traditional job. I might do volunteer work in a developing country. I might decide to become a professional golfer. Doing what I want is key, so retirement = financial independence.

Question 3:  How much money will I need to be “financially independent”?

Answer:  $1,350,000 (and no debt)

Here’s the math behind this answer: $4,500 monthly income x 12 months x 25

This formula is based on the Trinity study and is considered a rule of thumb calculation for retirement planning.  If you want to get technical, there are some great calculators that take into account an array of different scenarios.  FireCalc is one such calculator.  If you have found a great online calculator-I would appreciate it if you could share it in the comments below.

$1.35 million is a boatload of money.  Considering the savings we have now — it means we need to save at least $26,000+ a year and hope for excellent returns for the next 10 years to hit that amount. Wow!

But at least we know these 3 important things:

  1. The date we will achieve financial independence
  2. The amount we need to save and
  3. The income we plan (hope?) to have.

These 3 things are interdependent, and if you change one — the others change. Now I can start working on the date. Remember it is February 7, 2025.  If I want to move it up then I can increase the amount we save and/or reduce the level of income we hope to receive. Each time we manage to do that, the date will change.  This is something I can get behind, buying my/our future.

~~~Thanks for visiting.~~~

Some footnotes.

February 7, 2025, is the earliest date that I qualify for retiree benefits from my employer.  So, it won’t be an extreme early retirement by any means but I will still be more than a decade ahead of most people. I don’t know if it is worth hanging around for these benefits so I need to figure that out too. 

My husband and I are not on the same page about this…yet. I am pretty sure he is going through the same process I did, he is just not at the same stage. I have noticed that he is starting to take a keen interest in our bank balances and has started making calculations of his own.  It is a very good sign.



  1. Working out your retirement date is perfect encouragement to speed that up as much as possible. My retirement date is many many many years away according to everything that traditional thoughts would say. But my goal is to get to financial independence much faster than that. I’m glad that you have it all planned out, it sounds like you are having the same difficulty with your husband that I am having with my wife when it comes to finances, so I understand that struggle all too well. Keep up the good work, love this blog.



    1. Thanks Tyler. Setting the date – even if it is far – helps put the plan in motion. Were you surprised by the date? My husband and I are mostly on the same page – or reading from the same book at least. Finding the middle ground can be a challenge but with time and a team approach we get through it.


  2. Thanks alot May,this is a great post.Understood most of it.If you had to sum up the whole article,how would you do it ?


  3. It’s great that you have a date and a number – 9 years is not a long time and you have a plan in place to achieve your number – how exciting! Perhaps as your husband sees you move towards that number, he will be more acceptable?

    All the best with this, it’ll be good to follow your progress!
    weenie recently posted…UK FI/PF Bloggers GatheringMy Profile


  4. I have to be honest that I am too afraid to sit down and figure out what I need for retirement. With that being said, lately this topic has been coming up a lot in the Blogosphere and I really think I need to start thinking about it. There is nothing wrong with having a plan after becoming debt free.
    Petrish @ Debt Free Martini recently posted…Military Therapy for MeMy Profile


    1. Thanks – It is nice to finally have a date to work towards.


  5. May,

    Only nine more years! Even though it sounds long, you’ll get there before you even know it. And who knows what could happen in the meantime that pushes your retirement date forward.

    Best of luck saving as much as possible and let’s hope we all get to enjoy excellent stock market returns.

    No More Waffles recently posted…Net Worth Update: €58,694 (+4.44%)My Profile


    1. Only 9 more years. Thanks and good luck with your portfolio as well!


  6. I am extremely lucky in that I have an excellent pension plan through my work. I say “lucky”, because if my retirement had been left completely in my hands, I would be in a scary situation right now. I was bad with money for years, and I wouldn’t have saved. As it is, I will be able to retire at 56 years old. I hope to be completely debt-free by that time so that I’ll really be in a position of freedom to choose whether or not to stop working once I’ve reached that number.
    All the best to you and your husband in moving that number!
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Dad’s Frugal-Intense vs. Mom’s Frugal-LiteMy Profile


    1. I dragged my feet on joining our pension because I believed I could do better myself. That was not a smart thing to do. (hindsight is 20/20 ofcourse) If I could turn back time…. 56 is great and you will be miles ahead of many others.


  7. I just setup one of those “countdown to retirement” clocks in my home office. 1200 days left, as of today. It took me a while to get on board with FI/ER. It started as a defense mechanism against what I perceived as forced extreme frugality. In actuality, we won’t change our current lifestyle at all from a financial perspective, we just won’t have to work. If your husband is starting to take an interest in finances though, that’s a great sign. It’s a lot easier with both people onboard. Good luck!
    Mr. SSC recently posted…February 2015: Our money went where?My Profile


    1. 1200 days! Wow that’s great – can’t wait to follow along with your countdown.


  8. How exciting to have a date! I should try harder about coming up with a date, just as a goal. Being in our early-30’s I have a difficult time establishing how much of a nest egg we will really “need” and there are just so many unknowns to take into account! However, you have inspired me May, Thank you! 🙂
    Nichole @Budget Loving Military Wife recently posted…Friday Freebie from Saving StarMy Profile


    1. Thanks Nicole. I really enjoyed your “Are you rich?” post. There are still lots of unknowns with my date but I figure it is a good starting point.


  9. I have to do this calculation for myself. Agree on your definition of retirement. “Having the means to do whatever it is I want to do and not relying on a traditional paycheck to support myself.” Congrats on figuring out your date, notw you have something to work towards!


    1. Thanks Brian. Now that it is mapped out hope I can make it reality.


    1. Thanks Mel. I am thinking about putting a countdown timer at the side of the site but not sure yet. Thanks for hosting #finsavsat


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